Paul George made it back-to-back 37-point outings as he led the way for Thunder against Portland on Friday night. The Thunder notched their first win in Rip City since 2014 by a final score of 111-109.
As George continues his hot streak into the month of January, the bigger story tonight was Russell Westbrook looking more like himself on offense. Westbrook dropped 31 points, 7 assists and 9 rebounds on 13-for-28 shooting.
Oklahoma City nearly ran away with this one by outscoring Portland by 11 points in third quarter. Portland’s comeback bid was cut just short when Damian Lillard missed the third of three free throws following a foul committed by Dennis Schroder on a Lillard 3-point attempt. Lillard could have cut the lead to just one point, but with the miss, Paul George sank two free throws on the other end to make the score 111-107.
It was a quiet night for Steven Adams, who had just 6 points and was a -3 in the box score, as he tussled with Jusuf Nurkic all night. Nerlens Noel, on the other hand, led the way off the bench with 10 points in 14 minutes of action, including several key steals and blocks down the stretch that aided the Thunder’s defense.
BENCH @ work.— OKC THUNDER (@okcthunder) January 5, 2019
Nerlens Noel delivers 8 points in 7 minutes. pic.twitter.com/KjcifdPoBV
Oklahoma City improves to 25-13 on the season, taking sole possession of 2nd place in the western conference standings. Portland dropped to 22-17, which is good for the 7th seed in the west. The Thunder’s next game will be against the 15-24 Washington Wizards.
Through 38 games— Oklahoma City Thunder Digest © (@ThunderDigest) January 5, 2019