Westbrook, Thunder roll past Lakers
Los Angeles, CA – Russell Westbrook scored 36 points on Thursday and the Thunder dominated the Lakers in the second half en route to a 102-93 win at Staples Center.
Westbrook had just one turnover and Kevin Durant added 21 points, 11 rebounds and five assists for the Western Conference-leading Thunder, who won their fifth straight game.
The Lakers had won three of four entering Thursday and sported a 20-4 home record, but were outscored 58-44 after the break to suffer the loss.
Andrew Bynum, who was benched by coach Mike Brown for attempting an ill- advised three in Tuesday's win over Golden State, responded with 25 points and 13 rebounds. Kobe Bryant had 23 points on 7-of-25 shooting.
The Lakers led by as many as 12 early on and were up 49-44 at the break, but Oklahoma City opened the third quarter with an 11-0 run in what proved to be a lopsided second half.
Westbrook's driving layup put the Thunder on top, 50-49, Serge Ibaka followed with a putback and Durant capped the burst with a three-pointer for a 55-49 advantage.
The lead continued to grow, reaching double-digits, 78-68, on Westbrook's pullup three at the buzzer and the Thunder opened the fourth with another run to put the game away.
A layup by LA's Matt Barnes started the final quarter, but Oklahoma City answered with 10 straight, highlighted by Westbrook's two-handed baseline slam and Durant's one-hander over a helpless Pau Gasol.
It was 88-70 when the dust settled and although the Lakers cut their deficit to 96-89 in the final minute, Westbrook hit a long jumper and two free throws and Durant made a running hook to keep them at bay.
Bynum opened the game with a dunk and scored eight in the first. Bryant added nine and the Lakers took a 30-18 lead into the second. Ibaka made a falling jumper at the buzzer to pull the Thunder within five at the half.
The Thunder have won three straight over the Lakers. They improved to 17-8 on the road this season...Former Lakers point guard Derek Fisher scored seven points in his return to Staples Center. He was dealt to Houston at the trade deadline, before being bought out by the Rockets and signing with the Thunder. Fisher played 13 of his 16 NBA seasons and won five NBA championships with Los Angeles.