Oklahoma City, OK (SportsNetwork.com) - Kevin Durant scored 27 points with six rebounds and five assists, and the Oklahoma City Thunder pounded the New Orleans Pelicans, 116-94, on Friday.
Russell Westbrook tallied 24 points with seven assists and Serge Ibaka contributed 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Thunder, who have won three straight and 10 in a row against New Orleans.
"I thought our defense was really good," said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. "It's something we have been trying to work on coming into the third quarter is getting better on the defensive end. The last couple of games have been really good."
Oklahoma City is now three games ahead of the idle Los Angeles Clippers for the second seed in the Western Conference.
Austin Rivers and Darius Miller each scored 18 points to lead the Pelicans, who lost for the seventh straight time.
"Our guys to scrap and claw and try to help the team and their teammates, it's a tough situation," said Pelicans coach Monty Williams. "We're not giving in and not using any excuses."
Miller's jumper capped the scoring in the first and cut New Orleans' deficit to 30-23 after 12 minutes.
Alexis Ajinca opened the second with a jumper that got the Pelicans within five, but Oklahoma City used a 14-2 run that Derek Fisher capped with a 3- pointer to give the hosts a 44-27 lead.
New Orleans answered with 11 straight to make it a six-point game. The Thunder, however, pushed the margin to 60-47 at the break.
Durant's three-point play late in the third stretched the lead to 21, 80-59, and the Thunder led by as many as 34 in the fourth as they cruised to the win.
Tyreke Evans left in the third with a knee bruise and Brian Roberts left in the first with a sprained ankle ... Oklahoma City shot 44-for-82 from the field (53.7 percent) ... New Orleans made 35-of-86 (40.7 percent) shot attempts from the floor. The Pelicans did, however, convert 9-of-18 from beyond the arc ... The Thunder had a 28-0 advantage on the fastbreak and scored 24 points on 15 New Orleans turnovers.