Westbrook, Durant star as Thunder top Nuggets
Denver, CO (SportsNetwork.com) - Russell Westbrook flirted with a triple- double, tallying 21 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists as the Oklahoma City Thunder topped the Denver Nuggets, 105-93, from Pepsi Center.
Kevin Durant dropped in a game-high 30 points for Oklahoma City, which stretched its winning streak to seven games following a loss in Portland on Dec. 4. Durant has scored at least 28 points in six of the seven wins.
Serge Ibaka recorded a 17-point, 10-rebound double-double in the victory. The Thunder have taken the first two of four meetings between the two clubs this season.
"I thought our offense was really good," said Thunder head coach Scott Brooks. "We were really patient. We executed in the halfcourt. Russell did a phenomenal job leading the group to start the game and finish the game."
J.J. Hickson led five Nuggets in double figures with 20 points and 14 boards, while Ty Lawson broke out of a mini-slump with 17 points and 13 assists. Kenneth Faried and Wilson Chandler scored 13 points apiece, and Nate Robinson reached double figures for the 13th time in his last 15 games with 12 off the bench.
"I wouldn't say nervous, but we were a little tight," said Hickson. "I think in the second half we came out and we did a better job of relaxing and taking the shots we needed to take. We need to cut down on our turnovers."
OKC led 52-44 at halftime but struggled out of the locker room. Denver took advantage, clawing to within a point at 58-57 after Chandler scored nine quick points and Faried threw down a slam dunk at 8:35.
The Nuggets went cold after that, and Durant capped a 9-0 Thunder flurry with a deep trey to extend the lead to double figures.
Robinson drained consecutive triples midway through the fourth to make it 83-77 in favor of the Thunder, but Denver would get no closer as Durant knocked down a turnaround jumper out of a timeout. Two minutes later, Westbrook's 3 had the edge to 15 points, and OKC rolled the rest of the way.
Earlier, Ibaka scored 13 points on a perfect 5-of-5 from the floor in the opening period, while Westbrook added six boards and four helpers as OKC took a 29-24 lead.
"We did a good job starting the game aggressive," said Ibaka.
Early in the fourth quarter, Denver forward Jordan Hamilton was assessed a flagrant foul 2 for an apparent punch to the stomach of Thunder big man Steven Adams. Hamilton was ejected with four points and five rebounds in 16 minutes ... OKC, which entered the contest leading the NBA in rebounds per game, won the rebounding margin 53-43.
12/18 01:02:28 ET