The Oklahoma City Thunder played tough in game that went down to the wire. They hung on late, but their momentum had been stolen away from them after the refs missed an inbound violation on the Portland Trail Blazers after Russell Westbrook scored on a layup late in the fourth quarter, bringing the Thunder within one point.
The Blazers missed their next shot attempt, but the refs blew another costly whistle when Kendrick Perkins got tagged for an illegal screen. To make matters even worse, they refused to blow a late whistle when Westbrook was clearly tripped on his way across mid-court while the Thunder trailed by six points with under 30 seconds left to play.
The refs really put a dent in what was an exciting game. The Thunder gave it their all, but a combination of bad calls and a lack of ball movement ultimately sealed their fate. Westbrook also struggled again, shooting 7-for-17 from the floor. This was one of those games where this team can still walk away with their heads held high. The Blazers clearly had the advantage being at home, and a remarkable performance by LaMarcus Aldridge pulled them across the finish line. The Thunder did a great job at limiting the Blazers’ key players.
The Blazers are playing their best ball, and I highly doubt they will be able to maintain this level of play all season. They have been more of a lucky team rather than a good one. The Thunder know they’re the better squad — even after losing to tonight.
There is no way the Blazers will defeat the Thunder in a seven-game series. OKC’s victories over the San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors last week still makes them the best team in the Western Conference. You would have to be insane to give the nod to Portland or any other team, after the Thunder’s amazing week of basketball.