The Oklahoma City Thunder (42-12) defeated the Portland Trail Blazers (36-16) 98-95 on Tuesday night behind 36 points (15-of-28 shooting) and 10 rebounds from Kevin Durant.
After an up-and-down first half that saw nearly all of Oklahoma City's starters struggle, the Thunder exploded for 35 points in the third quarter to tie things up at 80 heading into the game's final frame.
Then, it was Oklahoma City that emerged victorious by a three-point margin in the fourth quarter thanks to timely buckets from Jeremy Lamb (19 points on 8-of-11 shooting off the bench) and Reggie Jackson.
Jackson totaled 17 points (all in the second half) on 7-of-19 shooting after opening the game 0-of-8 from the floor. He also tallied six rebounds, five assists and two steals in the win.
In 37 minutes, Aldridge was only able to score 12 points on 5-of-22 shooting, and his final miss came in the game's waning seconds with a chance to give Portland a one-point lead. However, Aldridge did grab 12 rebounds to finish with his 33rd double-double of the season in the loss.
All five Blazers starters finished in double figures, and it was Nicolas Batum who led the way with 18 points on 5-of-8 shooting (3-of-5 from three).
Damian Lillard added 17 points and seven assists, as well.
Next up for the Thunder is a showdown with the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night while the Blazers are set to square off against the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center on Wednesday.
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