Short-handed Thunder venture to LA

( - The Los Angeles Lakers will shoot for a season-high four-game winning streak on Sunday when they welcome the under-manned Oklahoma City Thunder at Staples Center.

The Thunder, who own a half-game lead over the New Orleans Pelicans for the eighth playoff spot in the Western Conference, will be without Kevin Durant (foot), but also without human triple-double machine, Russell Westbrook on Sunday.

Westbrook, who has three consecutive triple-doubles, was kneed in the face late in Friday's loss to the Portland Trail Blazers.

Thunder general manager Sam Presti said the injury was "a fracture to the zygomatic arch of his right cheek," and that Westbrook, who underwent a procedure to correct the fracture, will be sidelined for Sunday's game against the Lakers. His status going forward from there is day-to-day.

OKC has dropped two straight after a seven-game winning streak. Both losses came on the road, one to Phoenix, and the setback to Portland, but the Thunder end the trip on Sunday.

Against the Blazers, Westbrook finished with 40 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists and became the first player since LeBron James in March of 2009 to notch three consecutive triple-doubles.

Mitch McGary scored a career-high 20 points with nine rebounds and Serge Ibaka added 14 points in Oklahoma City's second straight loss.

Oklahoma City had plenty of chances late, but didn't convert.

"I thought we played well enough to win the game," said OKC coach Scott Brooks. "They got some good breaks, but that's part of it when you play on the road in a tough environment. Portland's a good basketball team, we knew that going into the game. We knew we had to play well and I thought our guys did that."

The Lakers haven't won four straight since the end of the 2012-13 season.

LA started the streak one week ago with an overtime victory over the Boston Celtics. The Lakers won at Utah, then knocked off the Milwaukee Bucks, 101-93, Friday at home.

Wayne Ellington scored all 14 of his points in the fourth quarter as the Lakers overcame a double-digit deficit. Ellington went 6-of-7 from the field in the last quarter to help the Lakers erase a 76-65 deficit.

"Wayne has a lot of confidence in what he's doing right now. He just came alive when we needed him to," Lakers coach Byron Scott said. "I'm not surprised. He kept his patience and didn't get discouraged. He kept playing."

Jordan Clarkson scored 16, while Jeremy Lin and Jordan Hill each had 14 points.

The Thunder have won seven of the last nine meetings and the teams have split the last six regular-season meetings in Los Angeles.