Despite a career night from Enes Kanter (33 points, 20 rebounds), the visiting OKC Thunder went down Wednesday to the Portland Trail Blazers in a 120-115 loss.
— OKC THUNDER (@okcthunder) April 7, 2016
Al-Farouq Aminu scored 27 points and C.J. McCollum 26 as six Blazers scored in double figures.
The win clinched a Playoff berth for Portland, something that was unimaginable at the start of the season.
— Damian Lillard (@Dame_Lillard) April 7, 2016
Per the AP:
Expectations were minimal for the Portland heading into the season after losing four of its five starters from the 2014-15 campaign. The Blazers didn’t exactly prove the experts wrong during the season’s first eight weeks, taking an 11-20 record into a Dec. 26 game against Cleveland. […] But since beating the Cavaliers 105-76, Portland is 32-17. The Blazers climbed from near the bottom of the Western Conference standings, to having a shot at the West’s No. 5 seed.
“We came back from whatever our record was in December to put together a run and stayed with the process,” Portland coach Terry Stotts said. “It’s been very rewarding.”
(Damian) Lillard, who scored 11 points, repeatedly used the word “satisfying” in describing the team’s feelings about clinching a playoff berth. […] “Because there was so much doubt,” he said. “It wasn’t just people saying they’re not going to be a playoff team. People said we wouldn’t win 20 games.”