Hoard’s 24 points, 21 rebounds lift Thunder past Portland
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Jaylen Hoard had career highs of 24 points and 21 rebounds to help the Oklahoma City Thunder top the Portland Trail Blazers 98-94 on Tuesday night.
Isaiah Roby had 18 points and a career-high six steals, Georgios Kalaitzakis scored 17 points and Olivier Sarr had 10 points and 12 rebounds for the Thunder. Oklahoma City improved to 4-0 against the Trail Blazers this season.
Keon Johnson scored 18 points and Greg Brown III and Ben McLemore each had 17 for Portland, which lost its eighth straight.
The Trail Blazers led 82-67 heading into the fourth quarter, but Oklahoma City held Portland to 12 points on 5-for-19 shooting in the final 12 minutes.
Both teams sat their key players. Both have records among the league’s worst and neither is in the playoff hunt.
Portland led 54-48 at halftime. Brown led the way with 12 points. Oklahoma City trailed despite shooting 51% in the first half.
The Thunder made eight of their first 11 shots in the final quarter. Portland’s Brown was called for a Flagrant 1 with 5:29 left in the fourth, and Sarr made both free throws to cut Portland’s lead to 92-88. Roby’s stepback 3-pointer cut Portland’s lead to 92-91, then Zavier Simpson’s reverse layup put the Thunder ahead for good.
Trail Blazers: Former Thunder coach Scott Brooks is an assistant for Portland. He was shown on the big screen late in the first quarter, and it drew a cheer from the crowd. Brooks led the Thunder to the 2012 NBA Finals. ... G Kris Dunn had seven points, eight rebounds and eight assists.
Thunder: The Thunder started Kalaitzakis and Simpson. The Thunder announced Tuesday that both signed 10-day contracts via the NBA’s Hardship Allowance. Kalaitzakis hurt his right leg in the fourth quarter and did not return. Simpson finished with 10 points and five assists.
Trail Blazers: At the New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday.
Thunder: At the Utah Jazz on Wednesday.
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