Tue, 29 Sep 2020

Paul scores 30 as Thunder bounce back to stop Blazers

Field Level Media
19 Jan 2020, 14:55 GMT+10

Chris Paul tied his season high with 30 points to lift the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 119-106 win over the visiting Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday.

After Friday's loss to the Miami Heat, Paul expressed frustration with the Thunder's recent slow starts.

"We've got to figure it out," Paul said.

A day later, Paul was a big reason why Oklahoma City got off to a quick start. He scored 12 points in the opening quarter as the Thunder took a 32-24 lead.

Oklahoma City matched that 32-point scoring mark in the second quarter as well.

Paul was 11 of 15 from the floor in the game and added seven assists.

The Thunder took the lead for good just four minutes into the game but didn't have control until early in the fourth quarter, when they doubled their lead to 20 over the first five-plus minutes.

The Trail Blazers kept the game tight despite having just eight players available.

Portland was without guard CJ McCollum, who suffered a sprained left ankle in the Friday loss at the Dallas Mavericks.

The Blazers' bench was further depleted before the game when swing man Kent Bazemore and forward Anthony Tolliver were reportedly traded to the Sacramento Kings. According to ESPN, Portland will receive Trevor Ariza, Wendell Gabriel and Caleb Swanigan in the deal.

The Thunder were without forward Danilo Gallinari, who missed the game due to rest a night after hitting seven 3-pointers against Miami, and Terrance Ferguson. Ferguson played seven minutes Friday before leaving the game due to illness.

Rookie Darius Bazley, starting at forward in Gallinari's absence, had a career-best 13 rebounds. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 22 points. Dennis Schroder added 15 -- all in the final 15 minutes.

Oklahoma City scored 64 points in the paint.

Damian Lillard led Portland with 34 points, 24 in the first half.

The limited bench forced Gary Trent Jr. to play through illness and he made the most of it early.

Trent hit his first seven shots from the field, including three 3-pointers, and finished with a career-high 30 points. Trent's previous career high was 19 points.

--Field Level Media

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