A wild Thursday night in Portland ended with a deflationary 129-121 overtime loss to Oklahoma City (Box Score). After several malfunctions, Jusuf Nurkic was ejected, but not before it was bent in the head. Damian Lillard did 51, but it felt like an after-play game. Let us summarize some details until Nate has completed the complete analysis in probably about 5 hours.
- Possible playoff preview. With both teams jockeying for position, they fought back and forth through constant lead changes throughout the night. Each time a team took the lead of more than 6, the other team broke back. OKC made the playoffs in overtime, and the game decided.
Cage Match: Russell Westbrook and Paul George vs Nurkic. Nurkic came into it with both OKC’s superstars tonight. Get inside. First, Nurkic demanded a technical foul to triple Westbrook, who immediately responded by blocking Nurkic at halfcourt. Westbrook picked up a blatant foul. Later, Paul George drove to the rim and braided his arms and nailed Nurkic to his jaw with an elbow. The refs did not see the elbow, and OKC did when Nurkic lay on the ground. Nurkic apparently disappeared his cool. Shortly after, in the last few seconds, Nurkic may have first committed offensive basket interference (which was missed), but after the game he leaned in and bumped his head with George. It was the cause of immediate technical and expulsion.
- Battle of Dynamic Duos. It was all about the shooters tonight. Westbrook finished with 37 at 28 shots, George with 32 at 23 shots, Lillard with the aforementioned 51 at 28 shots and McCollum made 25 at 24 shots.
The remaining Suns are in Portland Saturday Night. 19659007]