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Dort helps Thunder top Trail Blazers 98-81, end 7-game skid

Portland loses fourth game in last five

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Oklahoma City Thunder guard Luguentz Dort (5) looks to pass the ball around Portland Trail Blazers guard Anfernee Simons, left, in the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Jan. 31, 2022, in Oklahoma City.
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Luguentz Dort (5) looks to pass the ball around Portland Trail Blazers guard Anfernee Simons, left, in the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Jan. 31, 2022, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Nate Billings) Photo Gallery

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Lu Dort scored 18 points and the Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the Portland Trail Blazers 98-81 on Monday night to snap a seven-game losing streak.

Josh Giddey added 14 points and 12 rebounds for the short-handed Thunder. Oklahoma City’s scoring leader, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, is out until after the All-Star break with a sprained right ankle sustained last Friday against Indiana.

CJ McCollum scored 21 points and Norman Powell added 18 for Portland, which has lost four of five.

Portland took charge early, leading 31-19 after one quarter and 40-22 early in the second before the Thunder rallied and trailed 47-39 at the break.

Oklahoma City started strong in the second half, and a 3-pointer by Dort cut Portland’s lead to 51-49. A basket by Derrick Favors tied the score at 51, and Portland called a timeout. Ty Jerome’s 3-pointer late in the quarter put the Thunder ahead 61-59, and a steal and floater in the lane by Dort as time expired in the third gave Oklahoma City a 65-61 lead.

A behind-the-back pass from Jerome to Kenrich Williams led to a dunk that put the Thunder up 73-65. It was part of a 15-0 run that gave the Thunder an 80-65 lead and control for good.

TIP-INS

Trail Blazers: F Trendon Watford twisted his ankle after landing on Thunder forward Mamadi Diakite’s foot in the first quarter and left the game. Diakite was called for a Flagrant 1. Watford returned later in the game. … Former Thunder coach Scott Brooks returned as an assistant with Portland. … Top scorer Damian Lillard has been out for about a month with an abdominal injury.

Thunder: Outscored the Blazers 20-16 in the second quarter despite shooting just 26% from the field. Portland shot just 30%. … Made 16 of 17 free throws. … Held Portland to 7-for-38 shooting from 3-point range.

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