In Thursday night's NBA action, Oklahoma City Thunder star Russell Westbrook failed to achieve a 31st triple-double on the season. However, he finished with 45 points in an impressive performance. The Portland Trail Blazers were able to gain some ground with a much-needed victory 114-109 at home thanks to contributions from Damian Lillard and Jusuf Nurkic. Can Portland build upon this momentum as they attempt to get into the Western Conference playoff picture, and will OKC be able to bounce back from a tough road loss?

Lillard leads the way

Portland's snubbed All-Star Damian Lillard continues to show how he may be one of the biggest snubs besides Westbrook as a starter this year.

In his latest outing, Lillard finished with 33 points on 11-for-23 shooting. Gillard also dished out five assists and grabbed four rebounds to help his team grab a key home win.

Teammate Jusuf Nurkic was also impressive in his latest performance. Nurkic finished with a double-double of 18 points and 12 rebounds but also had six assists, five blocked shots, and two steals for a solid stat line.

Portland was blazing hot, shooting nearly 50 percent for the game including 10-for-25 on their three-pointers. The Blazers also outrebounded OKC by 45-40 and showed unselfish play, dishing out 19 assists total.

Westbrook drops 45

Russell Westbrook continued to play like the driving force for Oklahoma City that has had him among top NBA MVP candidates this season.

The OKC All-Star finished with a game-high 45 points on 12-for-36 shooting including 6-for-16 three-point shooting. In addition, he knocked down all 15 of his free throws. Westbrook didn't quite reach the triple-double in his latest outing, having eight rebounds but only four assists in the game.

Westbrook didn't get much help from his starting teammates, but Taj Gibson and Enes Kanter were key off the bench.

Kanter recorded a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Gibson, one of the newest members of the team came in to score 15 points, grab six rebounds and hit a crazy three-point shot from three-quarters court at the end of the first half.

NBA standings & what's up next

The win moved the Portland Trailblazers to 25-35 in the Western Conference where they now trail Denver for the No.

8 spot by about two games. Next up, Portland takes on the league-worst Brooklyn Nets at home Saturday night at 10 p.m. Eastern Time.

Westbrook and Oklahoma City fell to 35-26 and are still No. 7 in the Western Conference. They're about a game behind Memphis for No. 6 and a few games besides the Jazz and Clippers for the No. 4 or 5 spots, showing just how close that part of the West's standings are. OKC has a game again tonight, taking on the Suns in Phoenix starting at 9 p.m. Eastern Time.

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