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Thunder vs Trail Blazers, final score: OKC shows little resolve, falls to Portland 117-106

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And on it goes.

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Oklahoma City Thunder Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Box score | Blazers Edge

The Portland Trail Blazers defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder, 117-106. As you can probably guess, the score was really the only the last thing I needed to fill in to complete this recap, because realistically it could have been written halfway through the 3rd quarter. A game after being embarrassed by the lottery-bound Suns, and in the aftermath of the Carmelo Anthony debacle from the last time these two teams played, OKC showed little resolve or grit in handing the Blazers not only an easy win, but also 2nd place in the Northwest and the 5th spot in the playoff race.

As you also can probably guess, my effort in this recap is mostly commensurate with the effort that Thunder provided us with tonight. And as R.K. Anthony postulated in his preview, the light switch is firmly in the OFF position.

Two weeks after showing such promise in 6 straight wins, OKC has gone 2-4 with two losses against lottery teams while giving up an average of 111 points in the losses. This is not the work of a competent team or a top 5 defense.

We are halfway through the season. OKC is 22-19. Without substantial improvement, a top-4 seeding is a pipe dream, and falling completely out of the running isn’t out of the question either, as OKC is only 3.5 games ahead of the 9th placed Clippers. Not to mention not even being on pace to equal last year’s win total.

41 games. 22-19. Good or bad? Mostly bad.

Post script: I’ve settled on what to call these games. They are “paycheck” games. You know what I mean.

Next game: vs Minnesota Timberwolves tomorrow at 7PM CDT