Oklahoma City

Can a rivalry help Portland to the NBA Finals?

Sure the Blazers can win - a lot - but can they attract a TV audience
Dec. 16, 2013 / By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports Journal

It seems like just a week ago that fans of the Portland Trail Blazers were being polled on whether the team could win 60 games this season.

Now, the poll is up to a 70-game level, as in "can the Blazers win 70 games?"

Even if they do, will the pro basketball community care? Imagine the potential match-ups for Portland in the NBA Finals. Miami? Indiana? Carmelo Anthony after being traded to the Pacers? How will that roll with the NBA in terms of television viewers?

Portland might win a lot, but what's winning without star power? And, Portland lacks star power, even with two potential All-Stars.

That's where the Oklahoma City Thunder comes in, and it's a key topic for the cast of Sportsland, Oregon, during its 27th episode of the year.

Can the NBA build enough of a rivalry between Portland and Oklahoma City, which was a heavy franchise rival when the team played in Seattle as the Sonics. How much value to TV networks would a Portland-OKC rivaly make?

The cast also talks up the woes of the Dallas Cowboys and strength of pro football in terms of people wanting to pay to see a game.

It's all recorded at Blitz Pearl in Northwest Portland.


Blazers tame Harden, Rockets in OT

After getting burned by the Spurs, Oklahoma City brushes Portland aside 106-92
Nov. 3, 2012

Red-hot James Harden cooled off enough for the Portland Trail Blazers to take Houston into overtime Saturday night, and the Blazers then scorched the home team for a 95-85 victory.

LaMarcus Aldridge had 27 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists to lead the Blazers, who held Harden to 24 points on 8-of-24 shooting from the field.

Portland got 20 points, nine assists and six rebounds from rookie Damian Lillard and held a 28-19 edge in assists by game's end.

Portland, 2-1, won despite being outscored 23-6 off the bench.



Nov. 2, 2012

The Portland Trail Blazers looked like a playoff contender for a second straight game, even if they didn't win Friday.

Oklahoma City, spurned by San Antonio the night before, got plenty of pressure from the Blazers before settling in for a 106-92 victory in their home opener.

Russell Westbrook scored 32 points, Kevin Durant added 23 points, 17 rebounds and 7 assists, and Kenyon Martin tossed in 19 points off the bench to lead the defending Western Conference champions, who lost on a last-second shot to the Spurs Thursday.

Portland trailed by 1 late in the third quarter, but couldn't overcome the Thurnder's inside game and shaky outside shooting. The Blazers hit just 36 percent of their field-goal attempts, 26 of which were from 3-point territory.

LaMarcus Aldridge led the Blazers with 22 points and 15 rebounds, while rooking point guard Damian Lillard had 21 points and 7 assists. Portland's bench got outscored 42-15.

The Blazers, 1-1, travel to Houston Saturday to face red-hot James Harden and the Rockets.


Phoenix brings Blazers back to Earth

After two big wins, Portland stumbles in the desert
Jan. 6, 2012

After wins over Western Conference heavyweights Oklahoma City and Kobe Bryant and the Lakers, the Portland Trail Blazers ran into a team needing a big win of its own Friday night.

And Phoenix took advantage of its opportunity, beating the Blazers handily in Phoenix, 102-77.

Jared Dudley led six Phoenix players in double figures with 18 points and Steve Nash added 17 points and nine assists as the Suns improved to 3-4 overall.

Portland, which beat the Thunder on Tuesday and Lakers Thursday night, got 14 points from LaMarcus Aldridge, but only 21 points from the rest of the starting 5.

The Blazers fell to 5-2, 1-2 on the road. The Blazers play their next three games at home where they're 4-0, beginning with Cleveland Sunday night at the Rose Garden.



Portland's hot early-season play got national attention Thursday as the Trail Blazers beat the Los Angeles Lakers 107-96 at the Rose Garden on TNT.

Gerald Wallace scored a game-high 31 points and LaMarcus Aldridge added 28 points and 10 rebounds as the Blazers improved to 5-1 on the season and remained the lone team in the Western Conference with one loss.

Jamal Crawford added 17 points and three assists.

The Blazers were outrebounded 47-39, outshot from the free-throw line by two points and even allowed the Lakers to shoot 46.8 percent from the field, but won by shooting 46.1 percent from the field, making five three-pointers to none and finishing with a 16-5 edge in points scored off turnovers.

Portland committed just four turnovers in the game.

Kobe Bryand led the Lakers with 30 points, and Andrew Bynum added 21 points and 12 rebounds. Los Angeles dropped to 4-4 on the season.

The Blazers play at Phoenix tonight, then play three home games in a row.



Portland moved into the Northwest Division lead with a 103-93 win over Oklahoma City Tuesday night on the Thunder's home court.

The Blazers broke free of a 66-all tie with a 6-0 run and led from there, improving to 4-1 on the season.

LaMarcus Aldridge had 30 points and eight rebounds to lead Portland.

The Blazers managed a 46-40 rebounding edge, shot 15 more free throws and outscored Oklahoma City 52-40 in the second half.

Oklahoma City got 23 points from James Harden and a combined 41 points from Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, but lost fo the second consecutive night. The Thunder lost at Dallas Monday.

Portland has a night off before facing the Los Angeles Lakers (3-3) at the Rose Garden Thursday night. Tuesday's win put the Blazers atop the Western Conference playoff standings, although the other 14 teams are all within 2.5 games.


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