9:00 PM ET, December 17, 2013
Pepsi Center, Denver, CO
Ibaka scored Oklahoma City's first 11 points of the game, Durant finished with 30 points again and the Thunder beat the Denver Nuggets 105-93 on Tuesday night for their seventh consecutive victory.
"It's a good win," said Durant, who had 30 or more points in a game for the 12th time this season, most in the NBA. "We came here and beat a team that plays well at home and has been playing really well since the last time we played them. Any win on the road is tough, so we'll take it."
Westbrook had 21 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists, half of them in the opening minutes on feeds to Ibaka, who finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds.
"Once they put two guys on myself or Kevin, our job is to make the other guys better," Westbrook said. "That's what I did early in the game. If two guys are guarding me, then somebody is open."
The shooting lanes opened up after that for Durant and Westbrook.
"My teammates set me up so well and I was just trying to be aggressive because I knew I didn't start the game off the way I wanted to," Durant said. "The third quarter is always key for us so I just put my head down and tried to score."
"We made too many turnovers after the first quarter and that's when (Thunder) made their run," Lawson said. "When they start making their runs and hitting their 3s, they are tough to stop. The third quarter we came out strong and started turning the ball over again. It was all self-inflicted."
After Hickson made one of two foul shots to get the Nuggets within two, the Thunder put together a 9-0 run capped by a 3-pointer by Durant for a 69-58 lead with 4:56 left in the third.
Evan Fournier broke up the flurry with a 3-pointer but Oklahoma City still led 75-65 going into the fourth.
The Thunder stretched their lead to 13 points on a basket by Jeremy Lamb but Denver closed to 83-77 with 7:15 remaining, getting 10 straight points from Nate Robinson, including consecutive 3-pointers.
Denver's rally stalled from there, and Durant hit a jumper and Westbrook and Lamb each connected on 3-pointers to help Oklahoma City to a comfortable 97-79 lead with 4:28 left.
The Nuggets didn't threaten the rest of the way.
Durant heated up in the last couple of minutes of the second quarter, dunking on consecutive possessions off alley-oop passes and then hitting a 3-pointer to push Oklahoma City to a 52-44 halftime lead.
The Thunder led by as many as 12 points early on, going in front 37-25 when Reggie Jackson converted a steal into a fast-break layup midway through the second quarter.
Kenneth Faried scored 11 of his 13 points in the first half for Denver.
Lawson has scored 10 or more points in 20 of 22 games. ... The Thunder have the NBA's longest active winning streak. ... The Nuggets' Jordan Hamilton was ejected with 11:01 remaining after being called for a flagrant foul 2 for shoving Steven Adams. ... Denver Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker watched the game in seats a few rows up from the Nuggets' bench. ... Oklahoma City improved to 15-1 when outrebounding the opposition (53-43).
DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 17: Kevin Durant #35 of the Oklahoma City Thunder looks on during the game against the...(Photo by Garrett W. Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)
Around The Association
MVP: Kevin Durant started off slow, and as such, so did the Thunder. However, a 12-point outburst from Durant in the third quarter put some distance between his Thunder and the Nuggets. KD finished with 30 points on 11-for-23 shooting.
X factor: Russell Westbrook was his usual do-everything self tonight, notching 21 points, 13 rebounds and and eight assists. The eight turnovers weren't pretty, but that was just about the only blemish on his otherwise efficient night.
That was ... flagrant: In one of the odder in-game feuds of this young season, Jordan Hamilton, frustrated with Steven Adams, threw a punch at the Kiwi while running back on defense. Hamilton was awarded a flagrant-2 foul for his efforts, and was ejected from the game.
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