In the third meeting between the Trail Blazers and Thunder this season, both teams got out to a very slow start on Sunday night. At the end of the first quarter, Oklahoma City held a 21-20 lead.
Blazers head coach Terry Stotts inserted Kent Bazemore into the starting lineup at small forward with the Blazers playing in their first game without Rodney Hood who suffered a torn left Achilles tendon on Friday night.
After being down by as many as 18 points in the first half, Portland charged back to take the lead in the third quarter. Yet, it was all Thunder in the final minutes of the fourth as OKC wins its first game against Portland this season.
Here are three quick takeaways from the Blazers loss:
1. Rough shooting night
With Damian Lillard and Carmelo Anthony shooting a combined 4-of-20 at halftime, the Blazers were lucky to be down just eight heading into the third quarter. As a team, there were a lot of shots that were in and out in the first half for Portland. Melo missed a lay-in that looked halfway down the basket before it popped out. It was one of those nights where things were not going right offensively. CJ McCollum was one of the only Trail Blazers who found his rhythm from start to finish on Sunday.
2. Bazemore stepping into starting role
In this new reality for the Blazers, Bazemore is going to be relied on more on the offensive end. He delivered on Sunday night. He was ready to step into the starting role. Bazemore was a perfect 3-for-3 from three in the first half and he was still his usual active self on the defensive end all night.
3. Portland’s frustrations come out
In the final seconds of the second quarter, Carmelo Anthony was hit with a technical after missing a lay-in and arguing with the referee because he thought he got fouled on his way to the rim. Then with just over seven minutes left in the third quarter, Kent Bazemore earned a technical foul for yelling at an official after being charged with a personal foul.
Up Next: The Trail Blazers will wrap-up their four-game homestand on Tuesday night with the New York Knicks in town. The Blazers and Knicks will tip-off at 7:00pm on NBC Sports Northwest and the MyTeams App.
Be sure to check back throughout the night and tomorrow morning for analysis, articles, and videos from the players!