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Portland at Oklahoma City

Roy finds offense at free-throw line late, helps Blazers roll Thunder

CBSSports.com wire reports
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OKLAHOMA CITY -- Brandon Roy couldn't get his shot going for a second straight night. So, he used what energy he had left for one final charge.

Tuckered out after a 42-point performance the previous night, Roy scored 16 and got aggressive late to finish out the Portland Trail Blazers' 83-74 win against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday night.

"I was tired. The first back-to-back is always tough," said Roy, who had 42 a night earlier in Houston. "I just kept telling guys, 'This is when we have to execute. This is when we have to almost be perfect."'

Roy struggled to get anything going on offense -- and so did Kevin Durant, a fellow Rookie of the Year.

Roy made just four of his first 16 shots before finally finding a way to hurt Oklahoma City at the free throw line. While Durant continued to misfire on jump shots, Roy knifed his way into the lane repeatedly to earn trips to the foul line and help Portland inch away.

His three-point play off a driving layup gave the Trail Blazers a 70-62 lead with 3:59 to play.

"I'm maturing and learning the game and saying when you get leads you've got to try to build on them by getting to the free-throw line," said Roy, the 2007 Rookie of the Year. "You don't have to always shoot jumpers."

Roy didn't attempt his first free throw until there was 5:11 left, but he got aggressive from then on. He went 5 for 7 from the line the rest of the way as Portland did something it couldn't do on his big night -- win.

"That's been our guy, and down the stretch he wants the ball," Portland coach Nate McMillan said. "He makes plays for us. When we get into the penalty early, it puts a lot of pressure on the defense trying to guard him."

Roy matched his career best with five 3-pointers and hitting all 13 of his free throws against the Rockets in a 41-minute outing

"I was a little tired and I noticed it on my jump shot," Roy said. "I said, 'I've got to be aggressive to get to the basket.'

"They did a good job of trapping me in those pick and rolls and not leaving me, so I just started trying to get early breaks -- when we're bringing it up, just try to attack right away and try to get to the cup and try to draw some fouls and try to put some pressure on them."

LaMarcus Aldridge limped off the floor with a bone bruise in his right knee late in the first quarter and did not return. McMillan said X-rays on the knee were negative but he had no timeline for Aldridge's return.

Durant scored 16 points on 3-for-21 shooting and missed all five of his 3-point attempts in the latest showdown between the top two picks in the 2007 draft. Greg Oden, the No. 1 pick that year, had 12 points and 10 rebounds.

"Once my shot wasn't falling, I tried to get to the line. I think I did a decent job of that. I've got to make those free throws," said Durant, who was 10 for 14 at the foul line.

"But I've got to make those shots where I was wide open or getting to the rim or pulling up in the lane. I've got to make them. Just point blank. My teammates depend on me to make those shots, so I've got to come through for them."

Oden scored six of Portland's first 10 points but wasn't a major factor through most of the game. He hit two free throws with 1:02 left, giving the Blazers a 79-69 edge, after Etan Thomas tugged on his jersey in an effort to send the 7-foot center to the foul line.

"I think he's going to get better," McMillan said. "We're running some stuff for him, and I thought he got us off to a start where he tried to establish that post, and we'll learn how to get him the ball. I thought defensively he did a nice job of just playing big and defending that basket."

Steve Blake scored 18 points, Travis Outlaw added 12 and Martell Webster had 10 for Portland.

Russell Westbrook led Oklahoma City with 23 points but also matched his career high with nine turnovers. He had been averaging 11.5 assists and only 3½ turnovers through two games after leading the league in giveaways last season.

Jeff Green added 19 points and 11 rebounds as the Thunder shot just 34 percent.

"Offense is what killed us tonight," Durant said. "We didn't take care of the ball, we didn't make shots. I think we made up for it on the defensive end. We put ourselves in a position to win the game, but we've got to score points."

Most of Webster's points came in a personal 7-0 run that put Portland ahead to stay. He hit a jumper from the left baseline to give the Blazers a 49-47 lead with 6:09 left in the third quarter, then followed it with a 3-pointer and a thunderous right-handed jam.

He also got the credit for keeping Durant in check.

"My goal tonight was to get up and body him and make every shot he took contested and difficult," Webster said.

Notes

  • Portland was called for traveling four times in just over 3 minutes in the second quarter, including on three straight possessions.
  • McMillan was whistled for a technical foul for arguing a call after Roy came up empty on a drive into traffic with 38 seconds left before halftime.
  • Westbrook had four turnovers with no assists in the first 6 minutes.
  • Attendance was 16,920, about 1,100 less than capacity, for the first non-sellout in the renovated Ford Center.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Struggling from the field, Brandon Roy gets aggressive late to get to the line for some of his 16 points. (AP)
Struggling from the field, Brandon Roy gets aggressive late to get to the line for some of his 16 points. (AP)

Scoreboard
Portland (2-2) «2514212383
Oklahoma City (2-1) 1522191874
POR:S. Blake 18 Pts
POR:G. Oden 10 Reb
POR:B. Roy 5 Ast
OKC:R. Westbrook 23 Pts
OKC:J. Green 11 Reb
OKC:J. Harden 2 Ast
Players of the Game
Oklahoma CityPortland

J. Green

S. Blake
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
191111833
Portland
M. Webster, SG394-121-251210
B. Roy, SG395-175-735216
S. Blake, PG316-92-233518
G. Oden, C294-54-4101412
L. Aldridge, PF122-52-25306
T. Outlaw, SF324-102-462112
A. Miller, PG201-12-23044
J. Przybilla, C171-40-05042
R. Fernandez, SG140-31-20111
J. Howard, PF91-30-00032
J. Pendergraph, PFDid Not Play
N. Batum, SFDid Not Play
D. Cunningham, SFDid Not Play
J. Bayless, PGDid Not Play
P. Mills, PGDid Not Play
Totals 28-6919-2540162683
 40.6%76.0% 
Oklahoma City
J. Green, SF436-146-8111319
K. Durant, SF413-2110-1450316
R. Westbrook, PG328-127-1042623
T. Sefolosha, SG281-20-01142
N. Krstic, C200-40-04010
E. Thomas, C262-40-09034
J. Harden, SG182-90-03226
N. Collison, C170-10-02020
K. Ollie, PG162-30-00014
R. Bowen, SFDid Not Play
B. Mullens, CDid Not Play
S. Livingston, PGDid Not Play
S. Ibaka, PFDid Not Play
K. Weaver, SGDid Not Play
D. White, PFDid Not Play
Totals 24-7023-323962574
 34.3%71.9% 
Other Games
Orl 125 Final
Tor 116
NO 87 Final
Bos 97
Chi 87 Final
Mia 95
Mem 123 Final
Den 133
Min 112 Final
Pho 120
Atl 110 Final
LAL 118