OKC
POR

No Text

Blazers edge Thunder behind Lillard's 36 points, 13 assists

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) Damian Lillard appears to have shelved whatever problems he had with his shooting touch the first two weeks of the NBA season.

The Portland guard tied his season high with 36 points, hitting 10 of 18 shots and going 15 of 15 from the free throw line, and the Trail Blazers held off the Oklahoma City Thunder 103-99 on Sunday night.

Lillard also handed out a season-high 13 assists.

Paul George topped the Thunder (4-5) with 27 points. Russell Westbrook had 25 points and nine assists.

Lillard went through a five-game stretch where he shot a collective 34 percent (30 of 88). But he has picked it up of late, as Sunday was his fourth consecutive 30-point game. It didn't hurt the confident Lillard that he was facing Westbrook, the 2016-17 NBA MVP.

''I go into every game with the same attitude, but obviously when you're playing against a former MVP, you want to embrace that challenge. You know that if you don't, he's going to take your lunch,'' Lillard said. ''If I don't step up, how's my team going to step up?''

Jusuf Nurkic had 25 points and eight rebounds, while C.J. McCollum hit six 3-pointers and scored 22 points for the Blazers. Coming off a 28-point performance against the Los Angeles Lakers last Thursday, it was the first time Nurkic has scored at least 20 points in consecutive games this season.

''I'm focusing on finishing at the rim, and help in any way that I can. I know this team can win if I bring my good game,'' Nurkic said.

Portland needed all of Lillard and Nurkic's efforts to fend off Oklahoma City, which played short-handed for much of the second half after Carmelo Anthony was ejected for a flagrant 2 foul.

Anthony, who had 15 points and six rebounds, was ejected with 4:26 left in the third quarter. Driving to the basket for a layup, Anthony elbowed the chin of Nurkic, who collapsed and lay on the floor for more than a minute. Initially, Nurkic was called for the foul, but following a video review, Anthony was hit with a flagrant 2 foul.

The call baffled Oklahoma City coach Billy Donovan.

''I've never seen, in the history of the game, a guy gets an and-1' play and then get ejected from the game,'' Donovan said.

Portland was beginning to take control of the game before the Anthony ejection, and it only helped fuel the Blazers. Portland separated itself with a 10-0 run to take a 16-point lead. Lillard scored 14 points during the third quarter as the Blazers led 78-67 heading into the fourth.

But after going scoreless for more than four minutes, the Blazers' advantage began to wilt. Oklahoma City got to 90-88 on two free throws by Westbrook, but consecutive 3-pointers by McCollum, and Lillard's layup helped the Blazers maintain the lead. The Thunder's comeback hopes were dashed when, down 98-94 with 20.5 seconds left, Westbrook missed three consecutive free throws.

''We've been in these positions before and found ways to lose them. We kept our composure and made our free throws when it mattered,'' Portland coach Terry Stotts said.

The game started as an offensive showcase, as the teams combined to hit 13 of their first 16 shots. The Thunder cooled considerably, though, while Portland shot 58 percent during the first half to take a 50-46 halftime lead.

For a second straight game, the Blazers were without starting forward Al-Farouq Aminu, who sprained his right ankle Wednesday night against Utah.

TIP-INS

Thunder: Oklahoma City is 0-4 against Northwest Division foes this season. ... One tradition that continues is Portland fans' booing of Raymond Felton. The Thunder guard was a bust during his one season playing for the Blazers in 2011-12. Felton scored a season-high 15 points.

Blazers: Lillard had seven assists in the first eight minutes . Lillard has hit 43 consecutive free throws. ... Nurkic is averaging 24.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 3.3 assists over his past three games.

ANTHONY FLAGRANT EXPLAINED

Crew chief Rodney Mott explained why Anthony's third-quarter foul was a flagrant 2 and not a common foul.

''We deemed that the contact was excessive and that it was not a natural basketball move where he seeks out Nurkic, hits him in the face with an elbow and goes back to the basket,'' Mott told a pool reporter.

UP NEXT

Thunder: Play at Sacramento on Tuesday.

Blazers: Play host to Memphis on Tuesday.

Copyright 2017 by STATS. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS is strictly prohibited.

Key Players
R. Westbrook
0 G
D. Lillard
0 G
36.6 Min. Per Game 36.6
26.1 Pts. Per Game 26.1
5.9 Ast. Per Game 5.9
5.4 Reb. Per Game 5.4
44.4 Field Goal % 42.3
44.2 Three Point % 40.3
58.8 Free Throw % 93.2
  Defensive rebound by Pat Connaughton 0:01
  Russell Westbrook missed 3-pt. jump shot 0:01
+ 1 Damian Lillard made 2nd of 2 free throws 0:05
+ 1 Damian Lillard made 1st of 2 free throws 0:05
  Personal foul on Russell Westbrook 0:05
+ 2 Russell Westbrook made finger-roll layup 0:06
+ 1 Evan Turner made 2nd of 2 free throws 0:11
  Evan Turner missed 1st of 2 free throws 0:11
  Team rebound 0:11
  Personal foul on Andre Roberson 0:11
  Personal foul on Andre Roberson 0:11
Team Stats
Points 99 103
Field Goals 40-89 (44.9%) 37-74 (50.0%)
3-Pointers 11-33 (33.3%) 7-20 (35.0%)
Free Throws 8-15 (53.3%) 22-28 (78.6%)
Total Rebounds 43 56
Offensive 6 7
Defensive 26 37
Team 11 12
Assists 17 20
Steals 11 6
Blocks 2 7
Turnovers 13 21
Fouls 28 20
Technicals 2 0
25 PTS, 6 REB, 9 AST
36 PTS, 5 REB, 13 AST
1234T
away team logo Thunder 4-5 2026213299
home team logo Trail Blazers 6-4 28222825103
Team Stats
away team logo Thunder 4-5 101.2 PPG 44 RPG 16.3 APG
home team logo Trail Blazers 6-4 105.5 PPG 43.5 RPG 19.0 APG
Key Players
P. George F 21.9 PPG 5.7 RPG 3.3 APG 43.0 FG%
D. Lillard G 26.9 PPG 4.5 RPG 6.6 APG 43.9 FG%
Top Scorers
P. George F 27 PTS 5 REB 2 AST
D. Lillard G 36 PTS 5 REB 13 AST
44.9 FG% 50.0
33.3 3PT FG% 35.0
53.3 FT% 78.6
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
P. George 39 27 5 2 3 0 3 1 10/21 4/9 3/4 0 5 36 -11
R. Westbrook 35 25 6 9 2 0 2 4 10/25 3/10 2/7 0 6 49 -15
C. Anthony 23 15 6 0 0 0 3 4 5/10 2/4 3/4 3 3 18 -9
A. Roberson 25 5 2 0 1 0 0 3 2/4 1/1 0/0 0 2 8 -16
S. Adams 31 4 4 1 1 1 4 4 2/3 0/0 0/0 0 4 8 -12
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
P. George 39 27 5 2 3 0 3 1 10/21 4/9 3/4 0 5 36 -11
R. Westbrook 35 25 6 9 2 0 2 4 10/25 3/10 2/7 0 6 49 -15
C. Anthony 23 15 6 0 0 0 3 4 5/10 2/4 3/4 3 3 18 -9
A. Roberson 25 5 2 0 1 0 0 3 2/4 1/1 0/0 0 2 8 -16
S. Adams 31 4 4 1 1 1 4 4 2/3 0/0 0/0 0 4 8 -12
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
R. Felton 23 15 0 1 0 0 0 1 7/11 1/3 0/0 0 0 17 +16
J. Grant 28 8 7 2 1 1 1 4 4/11 0/3 0/0 3 4 20 +10
P. Patterson 18 0 2 1 3 0 0 5 0/3 0/2 0/0 0 2 7 +6
A. Abrines 14 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0/1 0/1 0/0 0 0 2 +11
K. Singler - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Johnson - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Huestis - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
P. Dozier - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Hamilton - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Ferguson - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
N. Collison - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 236 99 32 17 11 2 13 28 40/89 11/33 8/15 6 26 165 -20
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
D. Lillard 37 36 5 13 0 1 2 2 10/18 1/5 15/15 1 4 66 +14
J. Nurkic 32 25 8 3 3 2 5 4 11/15 0/0 3/5 1 7 39 +21
C. McCollum 35 22 3 1 0 0 3 2 8/17 6/9 0/0 0 3 24 +8
M. Harkless 30 6 4 1 1 1 2 1 3/5 0/2 0/0 1 3 12 +10
N. Vonleh 23 1 8 0 0 1 2 1 0/2 0/0 1/2 1 7 8 +22
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
D. Lillard 37 36 5 13 0 1 2 2 10/18 1/5 15/15 1 4 66 +14
J. Nurkic 32 25 8 3 3 2 5 4 11/15 0/0 3/5 1 7 39 +21
C. McCollum 35 22 3 1 0 0 3 2 8/17 6/9 0/0 0 3 24 +8
M. Harkless 30 6 4 1 1 1 2 1 3/5 0/2 0/0 1 3 12 +10
N. Vonleh 23 1 8 0 0 1 2 1 0/2 0/0 1/2 1 7 8 +22
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
E. Davis 14 5 5 0 0 1 3 1 2/5 0/0 1/2 3 2 8 -15
C. Swanigan 14 5 4 1 0 0 1 3 2/4 0/1 1/2 0 4 10 -13
E. Turner 30 3 4 1 2 1 3 5 1/6 0/1 1/2 0 4 9 -15
P. Connaughton 20 0 3 0 0 0 0 1 0/2 0/2 0/0 0 3 3 -12
A. Aminu - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Leonard - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Layman - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
S. Napier - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Wilcox - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
W. Baldwin IV - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Z. Collins - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 235 103 44 20 6 7 21 20 37/74 7/20 22/28 7 37 179 +20