Trail Blazers hand Thunder second straight loss


Posted at Jan 04 2012 03:34 PM | Updated as of Jan 05 2012 02:13 AM

MANILA, Philippines -- The Portland Trail Blazers turned in a strong defensive effort in the second half to hand the Oklahoma City Thunder their second straight loss, 103-93.

LaMarcus Aldridge starred for the Blazers with 30 points and 8 rebounds, but it was the team's defensive effort in the second half that made the difference.

The Thunder led for most of the first half after shooting 51 percent, but made only 13 of their 38 attempts after halftime for 34 percent.

OKC's star forward Kevin Durant shot a miserable 8-of-26 for the field to finish with 19 points. Russell Westbrook had 22 points, 6 rebounds and 8 assists.

James Harden started the game for the Thunder and finished with 23 markers on 7-of-13 from the field.

With their victory, the Blazers (4 wins, 1 loss) have now knocked off the Thunder (5 wins, 2 losses) from the top spot in the Western Conference.

"That's the way we're capable of playing every night," point guard Raymond Felton told Yahoo! Sports after the game. "I feel like if we play like that every night, or at least try to, we'll have a good season."

In Salt Lake City, the Utah Jazz topped the Milwaukee Bucks, 85-73, behind a season-high 26 points from Al Jefferson.

The Bucks shot poorly throughout the game, with point guard Brandon Jennings making only 4 of his 19 field goal attempts. Milwaukee was also 2-of-21 from beyond the arc.

The Jazz took advantage of the absence of Milwaukee center Andrew Bogut, who was out for personal reasons. They scored 48 points in the paint and had 12 blocked shots.