Portland Trail Blazers lose overtime thriller to Oklahoma City Thunder

Bruce Ely

Bruce Ely

Westbrook was furious after he was subtly tripped by the Bosnian big man, retaliating seconds later with an aggressive shove that earned him a flagrant foul.

"I might have, I was going for the ball", George said. "It doesn't change anything".

Russell Westbrook, the epicenter of the Thunder angst, didn't seem too concerned one way or the other about what Portland desired.

Tempers flared again in the final 30 seconds of regulation. Nurkic received a technical foul for the dispute.

No foul was called on the play and the Thunder secured the rebound after George's miss, converting the resulting shot with just 13.1 seconds left to edge ahead 113-111.

"It's my fault because I shouldn't have put myself in that position", Nurkic said.

Monty McCutchen, the National Basketball Association chief of referees, said that his crew missed a key offensive foul on Paul George during Oklahoma City's win over the Portland Trail Blazers. With Nurkic unavailable to shoot free throws, Thunder coach Billy Donovan had the option to choose any player on Portland's active roster to shoot instead.

Portland Trail Blazers lose overtime thriller to Oklahoma City Thunder

Referee Ed Malloy told ESPN after the game that officials had deemed the physical contact between the two players "an unsportsmanlike act".

With Portland down two and out of timeouts with just 4.4 seconds left, Labissiere was instructed to intentionally miss his second attempt.

Westbrook admits he doesn't mind the boos from the opposing crowd, claiming he'd do the same if he was on the other side. Nurkic left the game with his second technical foul.

In the extra session, Nurkic's absence loomed large. With the loss, the Blazers have lost the season series 4-0 to the Thunder and fall to fifth-place in the Western Conference standings with 17 games to play in the regular season.

Damian Lillard led all scorers with 51 points on 15-of-28 shooting from the field, 3-of-10 shooting from three and a career-high 18 free throws.

"It was kind of weird because I planned on losing my money until I saw I shot 20 free throws", George said.

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