Preview: Thunder vs Blazers

Preview: Thunder vs Blazers
January 13, 2013, 8:30 am
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The Portland Trail Blazers are back at home for a brief stop to take on the team with the NBA's best record...the star-studded Oklahoma City Thunder who have beaten the Trail Blazers four consecutive times.

This will be the second meeting between these two teams. Their first was the second game of the season for both squads in early November when the Thunder defeated the Trail Blazers 106-92 in Oklahoma City.

The Thunder (28-8) are playing their second game of a three-game road trip having recently dismantled the Los Angeles Lakers Friday night 116-101, handing the Lake Show their sixth straight loss.

Kevin Durant had 42 points on 16-of-25 from the field. Russell Westbrook added 27 points and 10 assist.

The Trail Blazers (20-16) were on a four-game winning streak until it was broken Friday night in a loss to the Golden State Warriors 103-97 at Oracle Arena.

It was Damian Lillard's homecoming game and he made sure he put on a performance around his neck of the woods that will be talked about for sometime. He exploded for a career-high 37 points and 29 of those points came in the second half. He almost brought the Trail Blazers back from a 20-point deficit.

The problem in that game was he didn't have much help, being it was their second game in as many nights. Aside from Lillard, the Trail Blazers starters were a combined 13-for-45 from the field.

Lillard was content with his numbers, but he would had liked the “W” to come along with it.

It's bitter sweet because everything I did was for us to help us win the game,” Lillard said. “I got caught up in competing and trying to win the game. It was bitter sweet.”

Despite the loss, the Trail Blazers have still won 12 of its last 16 games and are 13-4 at the Rose Garden.

We have to make sure we protect homecourt,” Trail Blazers forward Nicolas Batum said. “That OKC team is getting better every year and we're a better team since the last time we played them. We'll see what happens.”

The Thunder are currently the top seed in the Western Conference and the Trail Blazers are sitting in the seventh spot.

Tonight's game will be televised on Comcast SportsNet at 6 p.m. followed by a brand new edition of “Talkin' Ball.”