OKLAHOMA CITY - -Russell Westbrook scored 36 points, Kevin Durant had eight of his 34 during Oklahoma City's decisive run in the final five minutes, and the Thunder beat Portland, 110-108, on Friday night.
Durant scored the final eight points in a 10-0 run that turned the Thunder’s five-point deficit into a 105-100 lead with 1:29 to play. He hit a floater in the lane, followed by a series of three consecutive jumpers – then ran into flying chest bumps with his teammates when Portland called timeout.
The Blazers, who had three consecutive shots blocked by Oklahoma City during the run, came back with Nicolas Batum’s jumper before Marcus Camby swatted away Westbrook’s layup try. Brandon Roy had a pair of putbacks that each cut Portland’s deficit to one and then hit two free throws to make it 109-108 with 13 seconds left.
Durant missed the second of two free throws with 12.3 seconds to go, but Rudy Fernandez missed a 3-pointer from the corner with 2.9 seconds left that would’ve put Portland ahead.
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Roy led the Blazers with 24 points and played 35 minutes just three days after he created a stir in Portland by getting a heat wrap on the same right knee that needed arthroscopic surgery to fix a meniscus tear leading up to the playoffs last season.
Batum added a season-high 21 points, Andre Miller had 19 points and 10 assists, and Fernandez scored 15 off the bench in another down-to-the-wire thriller between the divisional rivals.
The Thunder came back from a 13-point deficit to win in overtime at Portland a week earlier. If this trend continues, that Portland-Seattle rivalry could be reborn long distance.
Serge Ibaka, Nenad Krstic and James Harden each added 12 points for Oklahoma City.