George, Westbrook lead OKC past Blazers
Paul George and Russell Westbrook both filled up the stat sheet in leading Oklahoma City to a 123-114 victory over the Trail Blazers on Tuesday night in Chesapeake Energy Arena.
George collected 36 points, eight rebounds, five steals and four assists, and Westbrook totaled 29 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds for the Thunder (29-18).
Damian Lillard piled up 34 points, eight assists, five steals and five rebounds for the Blazers (29-20), who dropped to fourth place in the NBA Western Conference standings, a game behind the Thunder.
CJ McCollum scored 21 of his 31 points in the third quarter and finished 7 for 11 from 3-point range. Jusuf Nurkic added 22 points and 15 rebounds for the Blazers.
Oklahoma City had 16 steals, a big part of the reason why Portland had 19 turnovers. The Blazers were only 10 for 36 on 3-point attempts, including 3 for 17 in the first half.
OKC had the best of it through most of the first three quarters. The Thunder led 61-50 late in the second quarter, 61-54 at the half and 93-87 heading into the final period.
OKC opened the difference to 101-89 with 9:42 left, but Nurkic knocked down an 18-footer, Lillard followed with a 3 and a layup, and suddenly it was 101-96 with 8:10 remaining.
McCollum sank a 3 from the corner to draw Portland to within 109-106 with 5:10 to go.
Westbrook made a pair at the line, and George followed with another pair to make the score 113-106 with 4:22 to play.
Nurkic made a 20-footer to cut the gap to 113-108, but George hit two free throws to up the lead to 115-108 with 3:08 remaining.
George converted a layup after a steal to make it 117-108 for OKC with 2:16 left. When George followed with another pair at the line, the score was 119-108 with 1:44 to go.
Lillard scored on a left-handed layup, but Westbrook dunked to make it 121-110 with 1:24 to play. Lillard made two foul shots to draw the Blazers to within 121-112, but Westbrook dunked again, and it was over.
Portland concludes its three-game road trip at 6 p.m. PT Thursday at Phoenix (11-37).