Gerald Wallace’s 40 points not enough in tough 99-90 loss to Thunder

In what was another close game going down to the wire, the Oklahoma City Thunder secure the win in the fourth quarter all from a sudden outburst from Russell Westbrook despite an amazing 40 points from Gerald Wallace and the Blazers fall 99-90. The Thunder not only secure a second straight postseason appearance but also take a 3-0 season on the Blazers who got nothing much out of anyone except Wallace and LaMarcus Aldridge. Kevin Durant struggled for most of the game but it was Westbrook who shot the lights out from distance and spoiled Wallace’s highest point outing in Portland. He along with Aldridge were the only Blazers in double figures while everyone sure struggled from all ends of the floor. The Blazers can’t think about this loss too much as they head to San Antonio to take on the Spurs who are in the mist of their own three game losing streak and maybe lose another star player for tomorrow.


To no one’s surprise, it was Kevin Durant to kick things going by draining his first three of the night moments after tip.  Then like clockwork it was Russell Westbrook heading to the free throw line to give OKC a 5-0 lead in opening minutes. Andre Miller had sole possession for Portland’s only two points while the Blazers were dealing with tough turnovers and missed lay ups at the rim. Portland start to go big by adding Marcus Camby alongside LaMarcus Aldridge and Gerald Wallace and the Blazers started feeding off points. Wallace was most active hitting the rim from the baseline and going to the free throw line. As the bigger lineup were getting their groove, Portland go small by adding Rudy Fernandez and Brandon Roy. OKC’s lead is cut from 11 down to one despite Portland turning the ball over five times in the first quarter. Durant and Westbrook sit out for much of the first period. The Thunder after going to the basket early start praying for threes and can’t hit from distance, a Durant alley oop dunk energizes the crowd and his teammates and give the Thunder a 21-20 lead after one.


Both teams bench production go head to head, Portland’s bench led by Roy going to work against James Harden. OKC’s second unit doing most damage against Portland’s second unit and grow lead to six. Wallace goes on to score four straight points to cut the lead to four but Durant answers right back with his three. Portland goes on shooting cold and hitting nothing but rim and letting the Thunder grab all the offensive rebounds. For all the Blazer misses, Durant and Ibaka fuel a 10-2 Thunder run and Westbrook adds the lead up to as many as 15. The run grows now to 19-7 as Oklahoma City dominate Portland in the second half and lead 55-41 at halftime.

Gerald Wallace continues to shine as a Blazer dropping 40 points in Oklahoma City


Seven minutes into the quarter the Blazers, mainly Wallace, cut the lead cut all the way down to three and get Durant into foul trouble with his third. Portland get their own run started and go on a 14-2 tear, and just like that, Westbrook gains control and rides coast to coast for easy buckets in the paint and from the arc. Marcus Camby gets hit with his fourth foul as Durant goes into traffic and out of control to head to the free throw line, knowing the Thunder are just 1-9 shooting from the field. Westbrook himself gets a fourth foul on him while Wallace slashes through the middle cutting the OKC lead back down to three. The Thunder still leading 78-72.


While Portland continue to attack and take a 7-1 run to start the fourth and tie the game at 79, Westbrook lights up from distance again. Portland was able to hang around and tie the game on numerous occasions but five straight Westbrook points start adding up. Despite playing with five fouls, he connects from downtown again and give the Thunder a six point lead. Wallace who reaches 40 points at this point is just not enough as Westbrook sinks the Blazers with a final dagger three to put the game away for good. Durant ices the game with two free throws and the Thunder run away with a 99-90 win.


Not surprising that either Kevin Durant or Russell Westbrook were going to have a great night. Westbrook with five fouls in the fourth explodes for 11 points and finishes the game with 28 Pts, 7 Reb, 7 Ast and 4-5 from distance. Serge Ibaka collects 18 Pts on 8 Reb and went 6-6 in the first half. The Thunder bench was also able to keep things close with Portland early in the game when Durant and Westbrook weren’t in the groove just yet. Oklahoma City shoot 42% from the field, hit 32% from three, and miss only three free throws to go 26-29 from the line. The Thunder out-rebound Portland 42-38, most of them offensive rebounds, and block 11 Blazer shots including two critical late in the game. They score 11 fast break points compared to just nine by Portland.

Gerald Wallace continues to just shine, no matter if we win or lose. He was just two points from tying his career high in scoring and was bothering Durant all night long. The loss ruins what would’ve been a fantastic night for him, roaring 40 points on 16-28 shooting, 7 Reb, 1 Stl and 1 Blk. LaMarcus Aldridge was kept quiet again for 20 Pts, 7 Reb and 3 Ast and was the only other Blazer in double figures. Andre Miller plugged along with 9 Pts, 8 Reb and 5 Ast. Marcus Camby despite just 4 Pts grabs 13 Rebs.


Sure 21 Pts from Durant should be something to at least smile about, but for him this was a weak outing. He struggled all night thanks to some awesome defensive from Wallace and picked up his fifth foul in the fourth quarter. He shot 5-18 from the field and 3-10 from distance.

For Portland, no one else stepped up tonight. Nic Batum, who has been the hero as of late was dealing with an ankle injury for most of the game and finished with 6 Pts. Wesley Matthews got nowhere with 4 Pts and goes ice-cold 0-4 from distance. Brandon Roy came off the bench to do some quick damage in the second but didn’t return for the rest of the game and gets 4 Pts. Rudy Fernandez collects only 3 Pts and only one attempt for three.

Not much you can take from this. Head to San Antonio tomorrow and face the Spurs we just played on Friday. At least Portland doesn’t move anywhere in playoff seeding as New Orleans lost to the Lakers, Houston lost to Miami and San Antonio lost to Memphis.

Also like to note that both LaMarcus Aldridge and Russell Westbrook donated $1,000 per point they made in tonight’s game to help relief efforts in Japan. Aldridge donates $20K and Westbrook sends $28K which totals to $48,000 to Japan. Great job!

photo courtesy of