Portland Trail Blazers lose overtime thriller to Oklahoma City Thunder

Portland Trail Blazers lose overtime thriller to Oklahoma City Thunder

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. The move was in retaliation after Nurkic tripped Westbrook just moments before. That nearly didn't happen, as Skal Labissiere, selected by the Thunder to shoot free throws in place of Jusuf Nurkic, who was ejected for picking up his second technical with 4.4 seconds to play in regulation, missed two free throws that would have tied the game. No foul was called, and Terrance Ferguson put back George's miss to give the Thunder a two-point lead.

George appeared to utter a few words towards the Trail Blazers' big man, who reacted by placing his forehead on George's. Because it was Nurkic's second technical of the game, he was ejected.

The flashpoint with George was not the first time Nurkic had been at the center of the action off the ball during the game. Donovan chose Skal Labissiere, who had yet to play in the game. That led to Nurkic's first technical - but only after Westbrook had retaliated by shoving Nurkic over around midcourt, which earned Westbrook a flagrant foul.

"I may have tripped him, but I didn't do it on objective", Nurkic was quoted as saying by the Associated Press. "If we see them there (in the playoffs), we see them there. This one was no different". Labissiere missed both, but Al-Farouq Aminu was then fouled and made both free throws.

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Nurkic finished with 13 points and 17 rebounds, while Lillard erupted for 51 points on 15-of-28 from the field in 47 minutes.

However, he's helping a strong OKC team in a tight Western Conference right now, and with his famed "rock the baby" taunt, Russ always tends to get the last laugh. But Russell Westbrook poured in 37 points for Oklahoma City, and Paul George added 32 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Thunder (40-25) to victory.

The Thunder point guard was involved in a skirmish with Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic in the second quarter.

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