Published : 2013-03-06 20:17
Updated : 2013-03-06 20:17
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) ― Russell Westbrook had 37 points and 10 rebounds, Kevin Durant scored 26 and the Oklahoma City Thunder held off a second-half charge to beat the improving Los Angeles Lakers 122-105 on Tuesday night.
The Thunder led from start to finish, but had their 18-point lead whittled down to five midway through the fourth quarter. Serge Ibaka, who dodged a suspension after delivering a low blow against Blake Griffin in Oklahoma City’s previous game, hit a 3-pointer and Westbrook had a two-handed slam as the Thunder scored the last 12 points.
Los Angeles didn’t score for the last 6:14.
Kobe Bryant ended up with 30 points after leaving the game with a right elbow injury in the first quarter. Steve Nash matched his season best with 20 points as the Lakers fell back below .500 after reaching the mark for the first time since December.
Oklahoma City tied an NBA record with two turnovers. Milwaukee set the record in a game against Indiana on April 1, 2006, and Cleveland tied it in an overtime game against Portland on March 19, 2009.
The Lakers trailed by as much as 18 in the opening minutes of the second half. But Bryant and Nash hit 3-pointers during a string of eight straight points to get the deficit down to 85-79 with 3:31 to go in the third quarter.
Oklahoma City bumped the lead back up to 104-91 on Derek Fisher’s 3-pointer soon after a fan hit a half-court shot to win $20,000 in the break between the third and fourth quarters. The Lakers then got as close as 110-105 after Nash’s 3-pointer with 6:14 left.
Nash and Metta World Peace each missed 3s during a string of four straight empty possessions with L.A. down by six, and Ibaka then connected on a 3-pointer from the right corner to help the Thunder start pulling away.
World Peace finished with 16 points and Dwight Howard had six points and 16 rebounds before fouling out with 2:24 remaining.