Trail Blazers vs Thunder Friday, 04/12/13 AT 07:00PM

Postgame Notes And Quotes: Thunder Strike In Portland

  1. Written by: sarahhecht

    Friday, April 12, 2013       Oklahoma City 106, Portland 90



     “The third quarter was obviously the difference in the game. For the most part, the first half was kind of the way we wanted to play. The play at the end of the first half gave them some momentum going into halftime. The third quarter, our offense just ground down. We stopped moving the ball. We didn’t create shots for each other and we were loose with the turnovers. It was a bad combination. You get down and it was too big of a hole after that third quarter.”

    What was problem with offense?
    “I thought the ball stopped. The ball stopped and we’re not a one-on-one team. They did a nice job on LaMarcus, fronting him, doubling him from the baseline. We weren’t able to get much going there. They did a nice job with Damian as far as having two guys there and protecting the rim when he did drive. The first five minutes of the second half, we had about five or six shots where the ball just didn’t move.”

    On OKC’s defense
    “They’re in the top five defensively with their athleticism on the perimeter and their rim protection. They didn’t even have Perkins tonight, but Ibaka protects the rim. Thabeet protects the rim. Collison is a smart defender who can go in and take charges. They protect the paint great and have athleticism on the wings.”

    On Lillard’s game:
    “He didn’t score the way we’ve seen him, but I think you’ve got to give Oklahoma City credit on that. They made him a priority. They didn’t let him have any clean looks, they funneled him on his drives and committed two guys to him when he did get to the rim. They have big bodies down there, so it was a frustrating night offensively, but I thought he continued to play. His defense was good. I thought Oklahoma City did a nice job defensively with him.”

    On losing ten in a row weighing on team:
    “It’s one game at a time. It’s been a long time, we’ve got a lot going on and we’ve been playing some good teams. We’ve played well in spots. We’d like to get some wins, there’s no question. I don’t know if it’s weighing on me or us, but you’ve got to get up for the next game. After you lose a game, you’re down, then you’ve got to pick yourself up and be ready to play the next one.”

    On Thunder’s performance:
    “They’re an elite team in the NBA. There’s a reason they went to the Finals last year and fighting for the number one seed in the West again. They’re getting ready for the playoffs, so that’s what you expect from them.”

    On third quarter:
    “They turned it up and we didn’t match their energy. We have to come out and execute the game plan. They’re a great team and they did what great teams do. We just have to match that level. We’ll get there though.”

    On opportunity to play more minutes:
    “It’s given me more game experience. Now I’m seeing things, things are slowing down for me. There are things I can do out there. I’m just trying to make any plays that I can out there for the team to win.”

    Have you identified areas to work on?
    “Definitely my three point shooting. I’ve got to get that right, got to get some of my shooting down pat. Just stay in the gym and get my shot right. Just come up with more time in the gym and confidence and I’ll get there.”

    On dunk over Sefolosha in first half:
    “It felt real good. Any time I can get a chance to get to the rim, my eyes light up to get a dunk. I like to play that way. I’m an athletic guy so I like to get up and down. It felt good to get one down.”


    - Series history … With tonight’s result, Oklahoma has swept the season series with Portland, 4-0, and has won seven straight meetings with the Trail Blazers for the first time since winning a series-high nine games in a row from Oct. 15, 1971 to Nov. 18, 1972.

    - “Thrill” Barton … Will Barton finished with 18 points, seven rebounds and two steals … In two of the last four games, Barton has led the team in scoring, and during the four-game stretch, he is averaging 14.5 points, 6.8 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.75 steals per game.

    - Perfecting the point … Damian Lillard recorded 10 points and eight assists … Lillard is 10th in the NBA with 41 games of at least seven assists this season.

    - Bench spark … Portland’s bench finished with 40 total points, and shot 50.0 percent (15-of-30) from the field … The bench players also totaled 15 rebounds and 10 assists … In the last three games, Portland’s bench is averaging 37.0 points per game on 51.9 percent shooting (41-of-79 FG) … Every Trail Blazer who played made at least one field goal.

    - Franchise low … Portland scored seven points in the third quarter, a new franchise-low for points scored in the third period (8, 2/24/01 vs. LAC).

    - Recent slide … The Trail Blazers have lost 10 games in a row, their longest losing streak since losing 11 games in a row between March 14 and April 2, 2006 … Portland has lost seven home games in a row, the most consecutive home games lost in franchise history (6 games, four previous times).

    - Distributing … Sasha Pavlovic tied a season-high with five assists, to go along with seven points and two rebounds.

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