8:00 PM ET, December 13, 2013
Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, OK
Kevin Durant, Thunder cruise over Lakers, keep Kobe Bryant winless
Durant had 31 points, eight rebounds and five assists, Russell Westbrook added 19 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds, and the Thunder routed the Lakers 122-97.
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The Thunder are unbeaten in 11 home games this season and have won four straight at home over the Lakers.
"We have a pretty good team," Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks said. "That's been the case for a while now. One of the things that I tell the guys, every season has its own identity.
"We started the season knowing that we wanted to ... just continue to build trust in each other and just focus on each other and not worry about anything else but trying to make your teammates look good. It's early, but we've done a great job with that."
Los Angeles has lost all three games since Bryant's return from a torn Achilles tendon. Bryant had 13 assists -- just two shy of his career high -- but showed little of his trademark offensive ability, finishing with four points on 2-of-6 shooting. He played 23 minutes and sat out the fourth quarter with the game out of hand.
"There is no secret formula that you can sprinkle out there," Los Angeles coach Mike D'Antoni said. "He'll get more comfortable, then the guys will get more comfortable around him and then he'll do a better job."
Oklahoma City made quick work of the Lakers, setting season highs with 38 points in the first quarter and 66 points in the first half. Oklahoma City's lead was mostly in double digits from the three-minute mark of the first quarter on. The Thunder finished with a season-high 34 assists and outrebounded the Lakers 59-41.
"They're a good team and they just beat us," D'Antoni said. "That's number one. Our defense is not keeping it in front of us right now, and offensive rebounds, it's been a problem for us for a while. We turn the ball over too much. It's a combination of them outrunning us and them getting to the boards."
The Lakers played without three injured point guards -- Steve Nash, Jordan Farmar and Steve Blake -- forcing Bryant into the position even as he works his way back from his injury. Los Angeles committed 19 turnovers, including seven by Bryant.
Los Angeles jumped to a quick 13-7 lead and briefly looked as if it might stay with the Thunder, but Durant exited a timeout with a dunk and a 16-foot jumper to ignite an 18-3 run that put Oklahoma City in control.
A 10-0 run by the Lakers early in the second quarter pulled them within 44-38, but Oklahoma City answered with a 12-0 spurt and the lead remained in double digits the rest of the way. The Thunder led 66-51 at halftime and weren't challenged after that.
As well as they've been playing, Durant said the Thunder still have room for improvement.
"We just want to play our best brand of basketball at the right time," he said. "But we can't do that unless we focus on today. Today we did a good job of playing together and playing hard on the defensive end. We can't think about April. We've got to get past these days.
"We can be a lot better. There are a lot of things we need to work on -- transition defense, rebounding, passing. On offense we've got to flow a little better. But our chemistry is growing. That's the most important thing."
On the Lakers' first two possessions, Bryant was tied up by Oklahoma City rookie Andre Roberson, then had the ball stolen by Westbrook. Bryant didn't take a shot until making a steal that led to a breakaway with 3:50 left in the first quarter, but he eschewed dunking the ball, instead laying it off the backboard.
Bryant went 2-of-2 from the field in the first half and was a bit more aggressive after halftime but missed all four of his shots. It was his second single-digit scoring outing since returning from his injury Sunday.
Westbrook's double-double was his fifth of the season. Durant finished 10-of-13 from the field while Ibaka went 8-of-13. Wesley Johnson added 13 points for Los Angeles.
After missing three games with back spasms, Lakers C Chris Kaman suited up Friday and entered the game at the start of the fourth quarter. He finished with nine points. ... Thunder G Thabo Sefolosha missed his third straight game with a sprained right knee. The team said he remains day to day. ... Young received a technical foul from official David Guthrie early in the second quarter after complaining following a 3-pointer by Oklahoma City's Jeremy Lamb. ... Oklahoma City recorded its 99th straight regular-season sellout at Chesapeake Energy Arena. ... Jackson has hit at least one 3-pointer in 10 straight games for Oklahoma City. ... Lakers C Robert Sacre grabbed a career-high eight rebounds.
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - DECEMBER 13: Pau Gasol #16 of the Los Angeles Lakers passes the ball against the Oklahoma...(Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images)
Next 5 Games
With Steve Nash, Steve Blake and Jordan Farmar all sidelined with injuries, Kobe Bryant started at point guard Friday against the Thunder. Bryant had 13 assists, five of which came from him passing at the top of the key. Bryant also found teammates in good spots. Ten of his 13 assists were layups or dunks around the rim and one other was a Pau Gasol jump shot in the paint.
Kevin Durant did not attempt a shot from 5-9 feet Friday. Durant is shooting 27 percent on such shots this season (10-of-37). He is shooting 50.3 percent from all other areas on the court.
The Thunder came into Friday's game averaging 105.1 points per 100 possessions, sixth in the NBA. The Thunder scored 118.3 points per 100 possessions against the Lakers, en route to a season-high 122 points. It is the Thunder's third-highest offensive efficiency rating this season.[+]
Thunder Top Offensive Performances - This Season
Kobe Bryant was 2-of-6 from the floor on Friday, with both of his made field goals coming on layups. His four missed shots came on jumpers 12 to 17 feet from the rim.
This was the 232nd time that Kevin Durant made at least 10 shots from the field in a regular season or playoff game. His 10 for 13 (76.9%) tied his 2nd-best shooting percentage from the field in any of those games. He's had only one game in his career in which he's made at least 10 shots AND shot better than his 10 for 13 on Friday, a 14 for 18 performance in a win over the Miami Heat on January 16, 2010.
Kevin Durant scored 31 points on 10-of-13 from the floor in Friday's win against the Lakers, and did not play in the fourth quarter. Durant scored from all over the floor, making all but one of his field goals inside 25 feet.[+]
Kevin Durant by FG Distance - Friday vs. Lakers
Steve Blake has a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow and is expected to be out a minimum of 6 weeks. Now all 3 Lakers point guards are sidelined because of injury ... Still no timetable for Steve Nash, who hasn't played in a game since November 10th because of nerve damage in his back. And Jordan Farmar has been out since December 1st after tearing his left hamstring.[+]
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