The Norman Transcript

Local Sports

March 25, 2013

Thunder stonewall Trail Blazers, 103-83

OKLAHOMA CITY — After back-to-back losses in which it was unable to get stops in the fourth quarter, Oklahoma City has seemed to find the right remedy. For the second straight game, it used lockdown defense to pull out a victory Sunday when it beat Portland 103-83 at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.

“We have to keep building on this great defensive output we’ve had in these last three games,” Thunder forward Kevin Durant said. “Hopefully next game is better.”

The Thunder (52-19) went by 11 early in the fourth quarter before the Blazer’s Rookie Damian Lillard and Eric Maynor started knocking 3-pointers. They closed the gap to 86-81 with 6:34 left in the game.

But that is when Oklahoma City’s defense hunkered down and took away the Blazers’ (33-37) open shots. Portland stopped going to LaMarcus Aldridge and relied on perimeter shots.

The Thunder got its transition game rolling along with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook hitting timely shots down the stretch. They pulled away and the Trailblazers were unable to stop them. Oklahoma City outscored Portland 28-15 in the period and closed the game with a 15-0 run.

“The 6-0 and 8-0 runs are what kills people when they come in here,” Maynor said. “And I already knew that. We have to learn from stuff like this. It’s only going to make us better. We’re just trying to take steps forward.”

Durant led all scorers with 24 points on 10-for 17 shooting. He also pulled down 10 rebounds and only turned the ball over three times. Westbrook added 21 points and nine assists, while Serge Ibaka collected 16 points on 7-for-9 shooting to go along with five blocked shots.

Lillard paced the Blazers with 19 points and was 4 for 9 from behind the arc. Nicolas Batum chipped in with 13 points and eight rebounds. Aldridge was held to 10 points and 12 rebounds.

Oklahoma City got off to a slightly sluggish start as Portland took an early 8-6 lead. It didn’t get rolling until Nick Collison entered the game and the team’s hustle energy seemed to automatically pick up.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local Sports
  • 498415327SB20543_Sky_Shock How Paris got her groove back

    TULSA — It looked like it came easily to Courtney Paris. The minute she stepped foot on the campus at the University of Oklahoma in 2005, it seemed she was already an All-American and destroying the competition in the Big 12 and across the ...

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Three Tigers competing for quarterback

    While some teams have had questions surrounding the quarterback position in recent years, Norman High has seen relative stability. Thanks to a three-year run by Zach Long followed up by Jakcob Dean’s ascendance last season, the Tigers ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Brace yourselves for what is likely bumpy road to playoffs

    In October of 2005, back when Butch Peters had Norman High ranked No. 5 on the gridiron and Karin Sexson had Norman North ranked No. 1 on the volleyball court, I wrote a column under the headline: “Two great teams … Who cares.” It was all ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Clash Football It’s a whole new ball game for Tigers and Timberwolves

    With just over two weeks until football practice officially begins Aug. 11, everyone is busy preparing for the upcoming season. After all, it’s one that will be unlike any other....

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • USA Basketball Durant tells media that he’s not looking too far ahead

    While most of the NBA’s offseason has been focused on players going home, max contracts and who gets Kevin Love, the reigning MVP has been pretty low key. Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant has stayed in the shadows for the most part while ...

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tang making a splash on state level

    The Sooner Swim Club has produced a long string of great athletes in Norman. Norman North has won back-to-back state championships and senior Justin Wu owns several state records and last week qualified for the U.S. National swim meet. The ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Zac Selmon joins UNC as associate AD

    Zac Selmon, an associate director of athletic development with the Sooner Club since 2012, has been hired by North Carolina as an associate athletic director and special assistant to Tar Heel athletics director Bubba Cunningham....

    July 28, 2014

  • OSSAA releases enrollment figures

    The Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association released the preliminary 2014-15 ADM for classification purposes Friday and not much has changed for many of the area schools. Moore (2,265), Norman North (2,180), Westmoore (2,090), ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Swim regionals 1 Norman North’s Justin Wu qualifies for U.S. national

    Justin Wu made history last week when he qualified for the U.S. national swim meet. A senior at Norman North, Wu already owned several state records when he outpaced a field of college swimmers in the event....

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Woodard joins successful soccer team in Stillwater

    Haley Woodard has been one of the preeminent multi-sport stars in the state for several years. The Norman North senior is a state champion in track and soccer and has been an integral part of a basketball team that’s been to back-to-back ...

    July 24, 2014