Thu, Mar 07, 2013 - Page 20 News List

NBA: Westbrook leads Thunder to win over Lakers

AFP and AP, OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma

The Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook dunks against the Los Angeles Lakers in the second half of their NBA game in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, on Tuesday.

Photo: EPA

Russell Westbrook scored 37 points, leading six Oklahoma City players in double figures on Tuesday in a 122-105 NBA victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.

Westbrook added 10 rebounds, while Kevin Durant scored 26 points and grabbed nine rebounds for the Thunder, whose two turnovers equaled an NBA record for fewest in a game held by the 2006 Milwaukee Bucks and the 2009 Cleveland Cavaliers.

Kobe Bryant scored 30 points for the Lakers, but was hampered by a right-elbow injury suffered in the first quarter.

Steve Nash equaled his season-best with 20 points, but it was not enough to stop the Lakers from again falling below .500.

The Lakers, trying to get themselves in a playoff position in the Western Conference, had taken their record to 30-30 with a victory over Atlanta on Sunday, but they got off to a slow start against the Thunder, who raced to a 7-0 lead, held a 37-28 edge after the first quarter and never trailed.

Durant was key to the Thunder’s red-hot start, scoring 20 of his 26 points in the first half.

“Obviously, our slow start didn’t help any,” Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said. “We battled through some injuries, battled through some foul trouble. We had to play a little bit better to beat a good team.”

Bryant said the Lakers failed to deliver defensively.

“We gave up 20 fast-break points. We gave up a lot of points in the paint. We let them attack our rim all night long. We weren’t sound defensively,” Bryant said.

Despite their deficiencies, the Lakers managed to close the deficit to five points in the fourth quarter when Nash’s three-pointer with 6 minutes, 14 seconds to play made it 105-110, but the Lakers were unable to score again.

Oklahoma City scored the last 12 points of the contest, a run that included a three-pointer from Serge Ibaka and a two-handed dunk by Westbrook.

CELTICS 109, 76ERS 101

In Philadelphia, Paul Pierce had 18 points and 11 rebounds, while Avery Bradley scored 22 points to lead the Boston Celtics to victory over the Philadelphia 76ers.

Kevin Garnett scored 18 points to help the Celtics continue their push up the Eastern Conference standings.

The Celtics entered in seventh, but were no more than two games behind the next three teams ahead in the standings.

Led by Pierce, the Celtics controlled the game and used a 9-0 run midway through the fourth quarter to seal the win.

The Sixers lost for the ninth time in 10 games and are well out of the playoff race.

Jrue Holiday had 18 points and 10 assists for the Sixers, while Thaddeus Young had 19 points and 10 rebounds.

NUGGETS 120, KINGS 113

In Sacramento, California, Ty Lawson had 24 points and Danilo Gallinari added 23 for the Nuggets as they won their sixth straight game.

The deep and talented Nuggets used a 36-point third quarter to build a lead against the Kings that they never relinquished in winning their season-best third straight road game. They scored 70 second-half points when they shot nearly 64 percent.

The streaking Nuggets have won seven of eight games, including 11 in a row at home, where they have a 26-3 record, which ties Miami for the best mark in the NBA.

Kenneth Faried had 19 points and 12 rebounds, Andre Miller scored 16, while Kosta Koufos had 15 points and eight rebounds for Denver.

Marcus Thornton continued his scorching scoring run of late, making five three-pointers and getting 32 points for the Kings.

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