|Date of game: 4/12/2013
Recap: Portland vs. Oklahoma City
Portland, OR (Sports Network) - Russell Westbrook scored a game-high 33 points as the Oklahoma City Thunder registered a 106-90 win over the Portland Trail Blazers at the Rose Garden and in the process claimed the Northwest Division title.
Kevin Durant took just 11 shots from the floor as he finished with 16 points, to go along with six assists and five rebounds. Reggie Jackson, who was averaging less than five points per game heading into the night, tallied 17 off the bench, followed by Serge Ibaka and Thabo Sefolosha with 11 points apiece as they won for the sixth time in the last seven outings.
With the win, the Thunder are half a game ahead of the Spurs for the top spot in the Western Conference standings with two games left on the schedule.
The Blazers were paced by Will Barton with 18 points and seven rebounds, while LaMarcus Aldridge accounted for 12 points. Eric Maynor chipped in with 11 points off the bench, followed by Damian Lillard and Meyers Leonard with 10 points apiece.
Portland, which has games remaining against Denver, the Clippers and Golden State in the regular season, has now dropped 10 in a row.
"I hate losing, especially with the type of season we had," Lillard remarked. "I don't want to go into the offseason on a losing streak. It's frustrating to be losing."
The Thunder shot an impressive 65.0 percent from the floor in the first half, with 10 of their 30 points coming from Ibaka, who knocked down all five of his field goal attempts in the frame.
Portland made good on a solid 52.4 percent from the field in the first, but the team was just 1-of-5 beyond the arc and trailed by four heading into the second period.
Again, the Blazers struggled on the perimeter in the second, connecting on just 1-of-4 opportunities, but thanks to 12 points by Barton the squad was able to close to within a point at the break, 55-54.
The third quarter proved to be a massive disaster for the hosts as they scored a total of just seven points, five of which came from reserve Sasha Pavlovic. Among the starting five, only Aldridge scored as he connected on 1-of-4 shots from the floor.
"Our defense was outstanding," Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks said. "Any time you can hold a team under 10 points, you're doing something right."
While Portland couldn't find the basket, hitting a dismal 3-of-21 from the floor, OKC was able to pull away thanks to 17 points by Westbrook.
Enjoying an 81-61 advantage to kick off the fourth, Durant and Westbrook played a combined 2:25 of the frame, handing the game over to the reserves as they picked up the lopsided victory.
Lillard, who didn't score his 10th point of the night until there was 4:17 remaining in the fourth quarter, has been held to single digits just five times this season.Game Notes
Heading into the night the Thunder needed a win or a Denver loss in order to
capture the division title ... The Nuggets bowed to Dallas on the road in
overtime, 108-105 ... Lillard was coming off a career-high 38 points, adding
nine assists and three steals in 43 minutes of action against the Lakers two
nights ago ... Durant is second in the league in scoring behind Carmelo
Anthony who is averaging 28.71 ppg after putting up 31 against Cleveland on
Friday night ... Durant was fined by the league $25,000 on Friday for making a
menacing gesture in the second quarter of Oklahoma City's win over Golden
State on Thursday at Oracle Arena.