Thunder vs. Trail Blazers blog: love ’em & hate ’em

Thunder Rolls Rip City

Oklahoma City is the top team in the Western Conference and they showed why on Wednesday night in the Rose Garden versus the Portland Trail Blazers.

Oklahoma City 109, Portland 95
When: 10:00 PM ET, Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Where: Rose Garden, Portland, Oregon
Officials: #26 Pat Fraher, #29 Mark Lindsay, #49 Tom Washington
Attendance: 20626

Blazers fans had hoped the revenge angle from Oklahoma City’s controversial overtime win in Portland would propel the Blazers last night, but Oklahoma City dominated from the tip. Oklahoma City led 32-18 after one quarter.

The Blazers got within five late in the third quarter before the Thunder pulled away again.

Oklahoma City went on to win 109-95.

Love ’Em

1. J.J. Hickson

J.J. Hickson was a great pickup by the Blazers and he is showing his value already.

Hickson went 9 of 10 from the floor for 21 points to lead the Blazers in scoring last night despite playing only 26 minutes. He also picked up three steals. Hickson has tons of talent and if he can become more consistent he could be a real asset to the team.

2. LaMarcus Aldridge

LaMarcus Aldridge continues his consistent play of late. He poured in 20 points and grabbed eight rebounds last night. He was 9 for 16 from the field. He has really taken his game to another level this season.

Thunder vs. Trailblazers

It was frustrating for Blazers fans and players to watch last night. - (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Hate ’Em

1. Jamal Crawford

Jamal Crawford has been extremely disappointing of late. This is a guy who has carried teams in the past with his scoring ability, but he is in a major slump right now. Crawford was 1 for 7 from the floor for just two points. He had two turnovers in the game as well.

2. Nolan Smith

Nolan Smith earned his first start of his career last night, but it was a forgettable performance by him. He made just one of his nine shots from the floor and finished with three points. Smith might be back on the bench most of the time after this performance.

3. Defense on Westbrook, Durant, and Harden

 It was frustrating for Blazers fans to watch last night. Everyone knows Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, and James Harden are the scoring stars for the Thunder, but it seemed like they got any shot they wanted in this contest.

The three combined to shoot 32 out of 47 (68%) from the floor.

They finished with 78 points.

It would have been nice to see the Blazers make someone else beat them, but last night it didn’t happen.

Portland will look to get back on track when New Orleans visits the Rose Garden Thursday night.


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