Thunder's Oladipo questionable for Trail Blazers

BY foxsports • December 13, 2016

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Russell Westbrook's seven-game streak of triple-doubles ended Sunday night in a 99-96 victory over the Boston Celtics.

It's not as if a 37-point, 12-rebound, six-assist game is a disappointment. But Oklahoma City's All-Star guard was closer to mortal against the Celtics.

"I know everybody likes to talk about the triple-doubles," OKC coach Billy Donovan told the media afterward. "What he's done has been remarkable, but what he did (Sunday) wasn't any less remarkable, just because he didn't have a few more assists."

Westbrook can try to start a new streak Tuesday night when the Thunder (15-9) visit the Portland Trail Blazers (12-14) at Moda Center. He may be without his backcourt mate, however.

Victor Oladipo missed Monday's practice with a wrist sprained in a hard fall during the first quarter against Boston. Donovan said Oladipo, who is averaging 16.1 points and shooting 38.1 percent from 3-point range, is questionable for the matchup with the Blazers.

Westbrook says he's not concerned about his triple-double streak ending.

"A winning streak is more important to me," he said. "I don't care about the (triple-double) streak. That's a small part of my game. What's important is trying to get a win."

Oklahoma City's winning streak is at just one game, but the Thunder have won seven of the last 10, thanks in no small part to center Steven Adams' recent upsurge in offensive firepower. Adams scored 16 points on 7-for-8 shooting against the Celtics, two days after tallying 24 points while hitting 8 of 9 shots against Houston.

Portland (12-14) comes into Tuesday's game on a four-game losing streak after falling 121-120 to the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center on Monday night. The Blazers opened a five-game trip with a 112-110 win at Chicago, then dropped four in a row.

The Blazers have played plenty of good offense, and they did again against the Clippers, who have now beaten them three straight times this season. Damian Lillard had 24 points, eight assists and five rebounds; CJ McCollum contributed 25 points, five rebounds and three assists; and center Mason Plumlee collected 18 points, seven rebounds, six assists and five blocked shots.

Portland shot 50.8 percent, including 47.6 (10 for 21) from 3-point range, and fired at an 88 percent clip from the foul line. But defense, a problem all season long, was again an issue. The Clippers shot 47.2 percent from the field, .478 from the 3-point line and .929 from the foul line while committing only 11 turnovers.

After the OKC game, it doesn't get easier for the Blazers, who head back onto the road for stops at Denver, Golden State and Sacramento.

A 12-14 record "isn't what we want, but it's not the worst thing in the world," Lillard told reporters. "There are teams below us. Things could be worse. But we also know we've got to be better. We came into this season expecting much more of ourselves. So that's disappointing."



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