Thunder rally to take down winless Pistons
Auburn Hills, MI – Russell Westbrook scored 14 of his game- high 33 points in the fourth quarter as the Oklahoma City Thunder rallied to take a 92-90 victory over the winless Detroit Pistons.
Westbrook also had 10 rebounds and four assists, while Kevin Durant had 26 points and nine boards for the Thunder, who won their fifth straight.
"He was getting involved all over the floor in the first half," said Oklahoma City head coach Scott Brooks about Westbrook. "He had a good floor game and I can never complain about his effort."
Kevin Martin finished with 13 points and Serge Ibaka netted 11 with seven rebounds and six blocks in the victory.
Rodney Stuckey had 19 points and Greg Monroe added 17 for Detroit, which is off to the worst start in franchise history at 0-8.
Oklahoma City trailed, 73-62, entering the fourth quarter, but opened the frame with an 13-0 run to take a 75-73 lead on Westbrook's driving layup.
Monroe put an end to the streak with a layup on the other end before the Thunder answered with a Westbrook jumper and a pair of Durant free throws to take a 79-75 advantage with 6:10 left in the game.
Detroit fought back with a 10-5 spurt to retake an 85-84 lead with less then three minutes remaining, but a couple of Thabo Sefolosha free throws and Durant's off-balanced jumper from the right post put the Thunder on top for good as Brandon Knight missed a game-tying 3-pointer at the other end and Oklahoma City was able to close out the game at the free-throw line.
"We just got stagnant late in the game," said Stuckey. "They started attacking and all their shots were going down. We just have to play without fouling so much."
The teams traded baskets over the opening two minutes of action until Detroit reeled off six straight points to take a 9-4 advantage.
After a Will Bynum layup later gave the Pistons a 16-12 edge, Oklahoma City responded with a 9-0 spurt to run out to a 21-16 lead with about two minutes remaining in the first quarter.
Detroit battled back to knot the game at 23-23 before a pair of Hasheem Thabeet free throws in the closing seconds gave the Thunder a 25-23 lead entering the second quarter.
It remained a tight game in the early portion of the second until a 12-0 run by the Pistons put them on top, 44-32, just past the midpoint of the frame.
The Thunder put together a late 9-1 push to close its gap to 47-45 with 2 1/2 minutes left in the second quarter, but they would not score again in the half and Detroit held a 51-45 lead at the break.
The Pistons then raced out of the gate in the second half, opening the third quarter with a 13-6 push to take another double-digit lead, 64-51.
Oklahoma City would get no closer than eight over the final five-plus minutes of the third quarter and went into the fourth quarter trailing, 73-62.
Oklahoma City shot just 37 percent from the floor in the game, while Detroit connected on 39.8 percent of its shots ... The Pistons had opened a season 0-7 on two other occasions, doing so in 1980-81 and 1962-63 ... The Thunder went 1-for-10 from three-point range ... Both teams scored 19 points off turnovers.