Despite each suffering the first loss of the season in their most recent game, the Oklahoma City Thunder and Portland Trail Blazers seem poised to take the Northwest Division race down to the wire.
After uncharacteristic performances, each look to bounce back Tuesday night when Oklahoma City hosts Portland in the first of four meetings.
Kevin Durant said the Thunder (5-1) came out flat in their 100-87 loss at Dallas on Monday.
Oklahoma City came in averaging 102.0 points, and it hadn't scored that few points in a regular season game since falling 90-87 to the Los Angeles Lakers on Feb. 27.
''We didn't have any energy from the beginning,'' said Durant, who scored a game-high 27 points. ''We need energy. It changes the whole game. We need to play with more effort. Everybody looks to me so I've got to start the game better.''
The Thunder shot a season-low 40.3 percent, though coach Scott Brooks isn't ready to panic because of one sub-par game.
"(Losing) one game out of six isn't ...