National Basketball Association
Oklahoma City at Portland
When: 10:30 PM ET, Friday, February 27, 2015
Where: Moda Center at the Rose Quarter, Portland, Oregon
The Portland Trail Blazers attempt to defeat Oklahoma City for the third straight time this season when they host the Thunder on Friday. Portland posted a 17-point home win over the Thunder on Oct. 29 and later recorded a 115-111 overtime win on the road when star guard Damian Lillard made eight 3-pointers while contributing 40 points and 11 assists. The Thunder could be a tired group after suffering a 117-113 road overtime loss to the Phoenix Suns on Thursday.
Oklahoma City had a seven-game winning streak halted by the Suns despite guard Russell Westbrook’s fourth triple-double of the season. Westbrook had 39 points, 14 assists and 11 rebounds but was just 12-of-38 from the field – and 1-of-10 from 3-point range – and missed a tying layup with 6.9 seconds left in overtime. All-Star small forward Kevin Durant (foot) will miss his fifth straight game, and recent acquisition Kyle Singler started in his place against the Suns but had just seven points in 22 minutes.
10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN, FSN Oklahoma (Oklahoma City), CSN Northwest (Portland)ABOUT THE THUNDER (32-26):
Oklahoma City received some scoring punch off the bench from guards Dion Waiters and D.J. Augustin as the club looks for ways to make up the loss of offense due to Durant’s absence. Waiters had 16 points against the Suns and is averaging 14.3 points over the last four games, while Augustin had 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting versus Phoenix after being just 6-of-22 from the field in the previous three games. Recent acquisition Enes Kanter also has played well in his first four games with the club by averaging 15.8 points and nine rebounds.ABOUT THE TRAIL BLAZERS (37-19):
Shooting guard Wesley Matthews moved on from a horrid 0-of-7 shooting outing against the Memphis Grizzlies last Sunday by scoring a season-best 31 points in Wednesday’s victory over the San Antonio Spurs. Matthews was 11-of-18 from the field and made four 3-pointers while reaching the 30-point mark for the eighth time in his career but the first since Nov. 23, 2012. “It took a while but you’ve got to keep shooting it,” Matthews told reporters. “My teammates were finding me and had confidence in me, and my confidence never wavered.”BUZZER BEATERS
1. Portland has won four of the past six meetings.
2. Oklahoma City is just 13-18 on the road after losing to the Suns.
3. Trail Blazers PF LaMarcus Aldridge has scored 20 or more points in five of the past six games against the Thunder.PREDICTION:
Trail Blazers 113, Thunder 110
Stats and Records