Los Angeles (AFP) - Russell Westbrook exploded for the highest-scoring game of his career with 58 points but it was not enough to stop the Oklahoma City Thunder from falling to a pulsating defeat against Portland on Tuesday.
The Trail Blazers squeezed home with a 126-121 victory in a thrilling battle at the Chesapeake Energy Arena which Westbrook appeared to be attempting to win single-handedly.
Ultimately, though, Westbrook's virtuoso display came up short against the multi-faceted Blazers, who finished with seven players in double figures.
Allen Crabbe led the scoring for the visitors with 23 points while Damian Lillard finished with 22 points and CJ McCollum with 21 points.
Westbrook meanwhile made 21 of 39 shots but could not add to his remarkable season tally of triple-doubles.
Tellingly, Westbrook was the only Thunder starting player to make an assist.
Only two other Thunder players made double figures - Victor Oladipo with 16 points and Enes Kanter with 11 points - as Oklahoma City slid to its fourth straight defeat.
A nail-biting final few minutes saw the Thunder stay in touch without managing to overhaul the Blazers.
Westbrook crucially missed three consecutive shots as the Blazers took an 118-116 lead with only 41.9sec on the clock.
Jusuf Nurkic increased the lead to four points with a right hook shot but the Thunder immediately made it a 120-119 game when Oladipo made an arcing three-pointer.
Two more McCollum free throws put the Blazers three points ahead with 15.1sec remaining.
A final attempted three-pointer from Westbrook missed the target however and the Blazers sealed the win.