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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Regardless of one thing of a wierd ending to regulation, the Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder toughed it out in extra time.
Russell Westbrook had 37 factors and Paul George added 32 factors and 14 rebounds for the Thunder in a chippy 129-121 OT win over the Portland Path Blazers on Thursday evening.
The victory gave the Thunder a four-game collection sweep of the Blazers this season.
“We had been resilient tonight and we did an excellent job of staying collectively,” Westbrook stated. “It is a powerful place to play, as we all know. We needed to do the correct issues down the stretch to win. That’s what we did tonight.”
Damian Lillard had a season-high 51 factors for the Blazers, whereas Jusuf Nurkic added 13 factors and 17 rebounds earlier than he was despatched off along with his second technical with below a minute to go in regulation.
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The groups had gone into the sport knotted for third within the Western Convention — together with the Houston Rockets — with similar 39-25 data.
“Each time we’ve performed them through the years, it’s just about been a conflict — bodily, shut video games, chippy,” Lillard stated. “This one was no totally different.”
Westbrook’s 3-pointer in extra time put the Thunder up 118-117 and he made a pair of free throws to increase the lead. After George made the second of a pair of free throws, Westbrook’s layup gave Oklahoma Metropolis a 123-117 lead.
The Thunder led by a slim 85-83 margin going into the fourth quarter in a sport the place neither facet stretched the benefit to double digits.
Regulation ended with a wild last minute.
George appeared to elbow Nurkic, who was knocked to the ground as Terrance Ferguson made a layup that put the Thunder up 113-111. Portland gamers protested, however no name was made.
Phrases had been then exchanged between Nurkic and George in a skirmish below Portland’s basket. After a evaluate each acquired offsetting technicals, and a foul was referred to as on the Thunder. As a result of Nurkic already had a technical, he was ejected and the Thunder selected Blazers reserve Skal Labissiere to make the free throws. He missed each, however a loose-ball foul was referred to as on the Thunder and Al-Farouq Aminu made each pictures to tie it at 113 with 2.9 seconds left.
After a turnover by the Thunder, the sport went to extra time. However Portland was with out Nurkic for the remainder of the best way.
“It was a hell of a sport,” Portland coach Terry Stotts stated. “It went backwards and forwards, each groups had been going at it, bodily sport. The distinction was extra time. It was a hell of a sport.”
Thunder coach Billy Donovan lamented the extra time, approaching the entrance finish of a back-to-back. Oklahoma Metropolis visits the Clippers on Friday evening.
“The truth that the sport obtained extended was unusual in itself,” he stated. “However that’s the truth of it, we’ve obtained a fast turnaround.”
Following the sport, official Ed Malloy informed a pool reporter that the obvious elbow didn’t set off a replay as a result of no name was made. He additionally stated the offsetting technicals had been the results of bodily contact between Nurkic and George, “which is an unsportsmanlike act.”
The Blazers had been residence after a largely profitable seven-game, post-All-Star break highway journey, throughout which they went 5-2. However Portland was coming off a 120-111 loss at Memphis on Tuesday evening.
The Thunder had misplaced 5 of their earlier six video games, together with a 131-120 loss on the Timberwolves on Tuesday.
Within the second quarter, Westbrook shoulder checked Nurkic so laborious he fell to the court docket. Westbrook obtained a flagrant, however Nurkic was given a technical for what seemed like a visit a number of moments earlier.
“I could have tripped him, however I didn’t do it on goal,” Nurkic stated afterward.
The Blazers led 61-58 on the break, with Lillard main the best way with 21 factors.
Thunder: It was the primary evening of a back-to-back for the Thunder, who face the Clippers on Friday evening. … Paul George was the West’s Participant of the Month for February.
Path Blazers: Portland’s 5-2 highway journey matched its finest for a visit of that size because the 2000-01 season. … Terry Stotts was the West’s Coach of the Month for February. … It was Blazers ahead Jake Layman’s 25th birthday. … The Blazers had been with out Evan Turner due to private causes.
PLAYOFF PREVIEW? Requested afterward if he’d wish to see the Thunder within the playoffs regardless of the unhealthy blood, Nurkic replied: “For certain. I’d be the happiest man on Earth. As a result of that’s what you need, you wish to compete, nothing soiled however you wish to compete in these sorts of video games.”
KANTER’S HOME DEBUT: It was the primary probability for the house followers to see Enes Kanter, who the Blazers picked up after he was waived by the Knicks following the commerce deadline. He was as soon as a starter in New York, however fell out of the rotation when the workforce turned its focus to youthful gamers. Kanter got here into Thursday’s sport to a rousing ovation with 3:56 to go within the first quarter.
Thunder: go to the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday evening.
Path Blazers: host Phoenix on Saturday evening.
Extra AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
The Related Press contributed to this report.
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