Corrections: An earlier version of this article misstated Portland’s record for last season. Also, the Trail Blazers will play the Utah Jazz on Friday night, not Thursday as originally written.
With a 111-104 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night, the Portland Trail Blazers now sit atop the Western Conference.
Not a bad start for a team that missed the playoffs after going 33-49 last season.
LaMarcus Aldridge, in his eighth season with the franchise, scored a season-high 38 points and added 13 rebounds as the Blazers won their third in a row.
The crowd at Moda Center in Portland chanted “MVP MVP” for Aldridge in the fourth quarter. And Portland snapped Oklahoma City’s eight-game winning streak.
“It was humbling to have that moment here,” Aldridge said of the crowd’s reaction (via Associated Press.) “I’ve been here so long and I’ve had very few of those type of chants here. So that was fun. I thought that made the night complete for me.”
In addition to the the Thunder (13-4), The Trail Blazers (16-3) lead perennial Western Conference powerhouse San Antonio Spurs (15-3) and preseason favorite Los Angeles Clippers (12-7) and are second in the league-wide standings to the Eastern Conference’s Indiana Pacers (17-2).
Prior to the Oklahoma City game, the Pacers poked fun in a tweet at the expense of the weak conference in the East.
Is it too late to join the Eastern Conference? Asking for a friend.— Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) December 4, 2013
The Trail Blazers plays the woeful Utah Jazz (4-16) Friday night at 10 p.m.