LaMarcus Aldridge torched the Thunder for 39 points Monday night as the Portland Trailblazers hosted the Oklahoma City Thunder. Aldridge couldn’t miss for most of the game but missed his last six shot attempts.
Oklahoma City can thank Kendrick Perkins for that as he led the Thunder to a 111-107 overtime win.
Perkins guarded Aldridge down the stretch in the fourth quarter and all throughout overtime and made sure he didn’t get anything easy and made him work for every touch.
This is the value that Perkins brings to Oklahoma City. He is their tough guy. He can go out and rough up the other team’s best player and that’s what he did tonight.
You can look in the box score and see Aldridge had a great game or you can watch the game and know that Perkins dominated when it counted.
With 12 seconds left in regulation, Oklahoma City found themselves trailing the Trailblazers 103-101. The Thunder inbounded to Kevin Durant at the top of the key and Aldridge switched out on him.
Durant took Aldridge off the dribble to his left and went for the layup. Aldridge’s hand met the ball just as the ball hit the backboard and the officials called goaltending, tying the game at 103. Probably the wrong call.
Portland still had a chance to win the game in regulation with six seconds left and the ball. They ran a beautiful out of bounds play where Aldridge handed off to Nicolas Batum and Batum looked for a moment like he would get a really good look at a layup.
Russell Westbrook came swooping in at the site of this and made a remarkably athletic maneuver in the air to jump across the body of Batum, avoid fouling him and block the shot.
The Thunder would score the first four points of overtime and with the help of some more good defense late in the extra period, sealed the deal and snuck away with the victory.
The Thunder were the better team for most of the night outhustling the Blazers and outrebounding them 59-39 in the game and getting 18 offensive rebounds. Serge Ibaka led the way with 12 points, 13 rebounds (seven offensive) and four blocks in the game.
Durant would finish with 33 points on 15-of-33 shooting and making the only free throw he attempted.
Westbrook flirted with a triple double scoring 28 points, dishing out eight assists and snagging 12 rebounds (five offensive).
James Harden was also instrumental in the win scoring 19 points and making all six of his free throw attempts (all in the first half).
This was a great win for the Thunder and would have been a very tough one to give up considering they outplayed Portland for most of the game.
This was the second game in a five-game road trip for the Thunder (19-5). Their next opponent will be tomorrow night when they travel to play Golden State (8-13).
Read the recap from the Portland perspective at Rip City Project.