OKLAHOMA CITY – There will be times the Oklahoma City Thunder will miss standout guard Russell Westbrook as he rehabs from another knee surgery, but Sunday wasn’t one of those nights.
Kevin Durant collected 33 points, 13 rebounds and five assists and the Thunder won its second consecutive game without Westbrook, defeating Houston 117-86.
Jeremy Lamb added a career-high 22 points — on 8-of-10 shooting — and five assists for Oklahoma City, which has the league’s best record at 25-5. The Thunder has won 20 of its last 22.
Reggie Jackson, starting in Westbrook’s place, had 16 points and eight assists as the Thunder never trailed and led by as many as 32 points against a team it beat in six games in the first round of last season’s playoffs.
- Mount St. Helens, still steaming, holds the world’s newest glacier
- Whitest big county in the U.S.? It’s us
- Seattle sets heat record for July 4
- For escapee, prison now will mean 23 hours a day in a cell
- Sound Transit planning heats up for light-rail expansion and public vote
Most Read Stories
Durant said the experience of playing without Westbrook for the final four games of that series and the rest of the playoffs prepared the team for what it must face in the coming weeks. Westbrook is expected to miss at least 25 more games.
“It’s still tough not having him here, but we know what we have to do now,” ex-Sonic Durant said. “We learned from our mistakes last time. Hopefully we just keep getting better and when he comes back it’s kind of a seamless transition for us.”
Oklahoma City shot 57 percent from the field (47 of 82) in dealing the Rockets their worst loss of the season.
The Thunder held James Harden to eight points on 2-of-9 shooting, while Dwight Howard, often stymied by Oklahoma City center Kendrick Perkins, had nine points on 4-of-13 shooting and nine rebounds.
“That team is a very, very high-powered offense,” Durant said. “They’re so quick up the floor. We just wanted to let them see bodies and just play hard.”
Aaron Brooks, a graduate of Franklin High School in Seattle, had 17 points for Houston, which was playing its fourth game in five days. The Rockets missed their first 12 shots.
Houston coach Kevin McHale wouldn’t use fatigue as an excuse.
“You’re playing basketball,” said McHale, shaking his head. “You’re not logging tall timbers, believe me. Four games in five nights … next question. We couldn’t stop them. We couldn’t run. We had nothing.”
Warriors win in OT
CLEVELAND – Stephen Curry scored 29 points and made a clutch jumper with 13.5 seconds left in overtime as the Golden State Warriors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 108-104.
Curry added 11 assists and nine rebounds for the Warriors, who have won five in a row.
Kyrie Irving scored 27 points for Cleveland, which has lost five straight.
• Manu Ginobili scored 28 points, Tony Parker added 22, and Tim Duncan had 17 points and 13 rebounds to lead host San Antonio to a 112-104 victory over Sacramento.
DeMarcus Cousins had 29 points and 14 rebounds for the Kings and former Washington Huskies guard Isaiah Thomas added 27 points.
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich wore a black sport jacket with a white checkered pattern. TV analyst Sean Elliott, a former San Antonio player, tried to play tic-tac-toe on the garment when Popovich appeared on camera.
• Philadelphia ended a 13-game road losing streak when it beat the Los Angeles Lakers 111-104.
Thaddeus Young scored 25 points for the 76ers and former UW Husky Spencer Hawes added 19 points and eight rebounds.
• Arron Afflalo scored 21 points to lead the Orlando Magic to a 109-102 victory over visiting Atlanta.