Damian Lillard, Jusuf Nurkic lead Blazers comeback to snap Thunder win streak at four
Damian Lillard led the Blazers with 33 points, including crucial baskets and free throws to complete the come-from-behind win. AP

DAMIAN Lillard and Jusuf Nurkic came up clutch in leading the Portland Trailblazers fourth quarter comeback to snap the Oklahoma City Thunder’s four-game win streak, 114-109, on Thursday (Friday, Manila time) at the Moda Center.

Portland got off to a hot start, leading 20-8 early in the first before seeing Oklahoma City fight back to take a 31-28 lead in the second quarter. The Blazers regained control, leading 57-48 near halftime but Russell Westbrook sparked a 15-1 tear bridging the middle quarters to get the Thunder back on top, 63-58, early in the third period.

It was a back-and-forth battle from there with four lead changes in the third before the Thunder started out hot in the fourth to build their largest lead at eight, 97-89, at the 7:48 mark. Nurkic, however, led a Blazers 16-0 run to get ahead, 110-101, in a five-minute span.

Andre Roberson sank a pair of free throws to stop the bleeding and Westbrook completed a three-point play before CJ McCollum threw a careless pass to give OKC possession facing only a four-point deficit, 110-106, with 32 ticks to go. Alex Abrines then hit his second triple of the quarter to bring the Thunder within one, 110-109, with 17 seconds left.

Lillard calmly sank his charities on the next play before sealing the game with another pair of free throws following Westbrook’s missed three-point attempt.

Lillard led the Blazers, who snapped a two-game skid to improve to 25-35, with 33 points, while Nurkic added a double-double of 18 markers and 12 rebounds to go with six assists and five blocks. McCollum also scored 18 for Portland.  

Westbrook had his third straight 40-point game as he finished with 45 points, eight rebounds and four assists for the Thunder, who fell to 35-26. Enes Kanter and Taj Gibson scored 18 and 15 markers, respectively, off the bench. 

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