Thunder/Trail Blazers Primer.
The Last time the Oklahoma City Thunder were in the Moda Center Damian Lillard was scoring 51 and sinking 37 foot jumpers in Paul George's face. Now, the Trailblazers are losers of four of their last five games and turning to 35-year-old Carmelo Anthony in hopes of getting a disappointing 6-12 season turned around.
The Thunder, on the other hand, is coming off its first road win of the season a 100-97 victory over an eight-man Golden State team. While the Trail Blazers are missing Jusuf Nurkic and Zach Collins, they'll still run deeper than the Warriors depleted roster. Not to mention Lillard is a bonified Thunder killer, Lillard has scored 20 points in his last 11 meetings vs. Oklahoma City and five times during that streak he's poured in at least 30.
Other headaches for the Thunder tonight will come in the form of CJ McCollum and Ken Bazemore. In their last meeting, McCollum torched the Thunder for 22 going 5-10 from beyond the arc, while Bazemore came off the bench and added 15 on a 5 of 9 shooting night.
The Thunder need to avoid the now expected third-quarter letdowns. Despite the Blazer's record, there is still enough firepower in Portland to make digging yourself out of a hole a tall task. Oklahoma City went on a 13-0 run to get by the Warriors on Monday unless McCollum, Carmelo Anthony, and Lillard are sitting on the bench during the final quarter it's hard to imagine Chris Paul and company repeating that task. Speaking Carmelo Anthony, he is telling the Athletic this is not a farewell tour. Anthony is averaging 16 points in almost 30 minutes though four games.
Tipoff is at 9:00 on Fox Sports Oklahoma, WWLS 98.1 and The Sports Animal Tulsa 97.1.