Thunder suffer second home loss of the season.
There were eight games on the NBA schedule on New Year’s Eve, with the Portland Trail Blazers producing the surprise of the night in Oklahoma City.
LaMarcus Aldridge had 25 points and 14 rebounds as the Blazers rallied from a 13-point deficit in the second-half to inflict just a second home defeat of the season on their Western Conference rivals.
Damian Lillard added 21 points and 11 assists as Portland moved to 25-7 for the season and simultaneously ended a two-game losing streak.
However, they still trail their rivals by a half-game in the Northwest Division standings, but with the absence of Russell Westbrook for the next two months, they will be hopeful of overtaking the Thunder.
“It was huge,” Lillard told reporters after the game. “The better teams in the league, a lot of times, they don’t lose two in a row. They hardly ever lose three in a row.
“We knew that that’s not something we wanted to deal with, losing three in a row, especially after two heartbreakers. (Tuesday) we defended a lot better, we were focused and we knew what we needed to do coming in. … We just kept with it and grinded it out.”
Kevin Durant had 37 points and 14 rebounds for the Thunder who had won 12 of their last 13 games, but with Nicolas Batum swarming him in the fourth quarter, he managed only one point in the final 12 minutes as Portland came back to secure the win.
Elsewhere, the San Antonio Spurs kept the pressure on the top two in the West with a rout of the Brooklyn Nets at the AT&T Center.
Tony Parker had 18 points to lead six players in double figures as the Spurs rolled to a 113-92 win as the Nets continued to struggle with their summer arrivals all failing to influence the game.
Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan added 15 points apiece, while Paul Pierce conceded after the game that it was “embarrassing” for his team to go through yet another huge defeat.
“It’s embarrassing,” Pierce said, according to ESPN. “You go out and you’re down 30 at the end of the third quarter, give up 98 points (entering the fourth); it’s embarrassing.
“I don’t think I’ve been a part of this many blowouts in one season, already. At some point we’ve got to have our pride come from each individual and say we’ve had enough of this. It’s extremely embarrassing.”
Meanwhile, there were wins for the Toronto Raptors and Sacramento Kings over the Chicago Bulls and Houston Rockets respectively, while the Atlanta Hawks edged out the Boston Celtics in a 92-91 thriller.
Amongst the star performers of the night were Paul Millsap (34 points, 15 rebounds), DeMarcus Cousins (17 points, 16 rebounds) and Jonas Valaciunas (15 points, 9 rebounds) as the trio ended the year in impressive fashion.
Elsewhere, the Indiana Pacers secured a routine win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, while the Golden State Warriors had 22 points and 9 rebounds from David Lee in their win over the Orlando Magic.
Atlanta Hawks 92-91 Boston Celtics
Cleveland Cavaliers 76-91 Indiana Pacers
Golden State Warriors 95-81 Orlando Magic
Sacramento Kings 110-106 Houston Rockets
Brooklyn Nets 92-113 San Antonio Spurs
Toronto Raptors 85-79 Chicago Bulls
Portland Trail Blazers 98-94 Oklahoma City Thunder
Milwaukee Bucks 94-79 Los Angeles Lakers