Thunder down Lakers to head into break
Oklahoma City, OK – Kevin Durant scored 33 points, Russell 85 decision over the Lakers at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Serge Ibaka totaled 11 points and 13 rebounds, while James Harden had 16 points and helped shut down Kobe Bryant to send Oklahoma City into the All- Star break with a Western Conference-best 27-7 record.
Pau Gasol finished with 22 points and nine rebounds, while Andrew Bynum added 14 and 12 for Los Angeles, which had won five of six coming in.
Bryant scored 24 points, but shot just 3-of-12 from the field after a 10-point first quarter, which ended with the Lakers holding a 23-19 lead.
Durant netted 11 points in the second, including a buzzer-beating jumper after stealing Bynum's lazy inbounds pass off a Wesbtrook three-pointer. The basket gave Oklahoma City a 46-43 edge.
The Thunder never lost the lead in the second half, going up 63-53 when Ibaka's jumper capped a 12-3 run with 4:42 on the clock. The margin reached 13 shortly thereafter, and was 73-62 entering the fourth.
The Lakers were within seven on several occasions in the final stanza, but midway through the frame Westbrook converted a three-point play and Harden soared for a dunk to give the hosts an 86-74 cushion.
Harden and Bryant exchanged words down the stretch, but it was the former getting the last laugh as the buzzer sounded to seal another Thunder win.
The Thunder improved to 15-1 at home this season...Oklahoma City will kick off a three-game road trip through Philadelphia, Orlando and Atlanta after the break...The Lakers will begin a three-game homestand versus the Timberwolves, Kings and Heat after break...The Lakers had won four of five in Oklahoma City.