January 10, 2018 / 4:11 AM / 9 months ago

McCollum scores 27 as Blazers pass Thunder

EditorsNote: fixes arena name in lede

CJ McCollum scored 15 of his 27 points in the third quarter as the visiting Portland Trail Blazers opened things up en route to a 117-106 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday night at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

Shabazz Napier scored 21 points and Jusuf Nurkic collected 20 points and eight rebounds for the Trail Blazers (22-18), who moved ahead of the Thunder (22-19) and into fifth place in the Western Conference standings.

Russell Westbrook and Paul George each scored 22 points for Oklahoma City, and Carmelo Anthony finished with 19 points. Westbrook added 12 assists and nine rebounds.

Nurkic scored 14 first-half points and McCollum and Napier had 12 apiece as the Blazers carried a 54-50 edge into halftime. George tallied 16 points and Westbrook added 14 for the Thunder before the break.

Oklahoma City began the third quarter on a 10-4 run to go ahead 60-58. The Blazers came back with a 14-2 spurt — the last six points come on a pair of Al-Farouq Aminu 3-pointers — to regain control at 72-62. Portland increased the margin to 81-68 late in the quarter. McCollum scored the Blazers’ final 11 points of the period, and Portland entered the final quarter on top 88-76.

The difference increased to 100-79 on a trey by Napier early in the fourth quarter. The Thunder got no closer than 11 points the rest of the way.

The Blazers got off to a 15-8 lead, but Oklahoma City used an 10-2 run to go ahead 18-17. The Thunder took a 26-24 advantage into the second quarter. Portland scored the final six points of the quarter to go into intermission with a four-point bulge.

The Blazers were without point guard Damian Lillard, who had 36 points and 13 assists in Portland’s 103-99 win over Oklahoma City on Nov. 5. Lillard, who has missed seven of the Blazers’ last nine games, has been sidelined for the past two contests due to a calf injury.

The Thunder were minus starting shooting guard Andre Roberson, who also will miss the Wednesday game against the Minnesota Timberwolves with a sore knee.

—Field Level Media

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