Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant combined for 63 points to lead Oklahoma City to a 122-105 NBA victory over the visiting Los Angeles Lakers.
OKLAHOMA CITY — Russell Westbrook contributed 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 Tuesday night.
The Thunder led from start to finish, but had its 18-point lead reduced to five midway through the fourth quarter. Oklahoma City scored the last 12 points, including Westbrook’s dunk, holding the Lakers scoreless for the last 6:14.
Kobe Bryant ended up with 30 points after leaving the game for about 4 ½ minutes with a right-elbow injury in the first quarter. When he returned, Bryant dribbled mostly with his left hand.
Steve Nash matched his season best with 20 points as the Lakers (30-31) fell below .500 after reaching the mark for the first time since December. They missed their first 10 shots from the field.
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Oklahoma City (44-16) tied a league record by making a mere two turnovers.
Ibaka is fined
for groin punch
Oklahoma City forward-center Serge Ibaka has been fined $25,000 by the NBA for striking Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers in the groin area during a game Sunday.
Stu Jackson, league executive vice president for basketball operations, announced the fine. The league also upgraded the flagrant foul 1 Ibaka was given for hitting Griffin as the two battled for position in the paint to a flagrant foul 2, meaning Ibaka should have been ejected from the game.
victory by Celtics
PHILADELPHIA — So much for Boston’s grim outlook once guard Rajon Rondo was lost for the season.
Guard Avery Bradley, a former standout at Bellarmine Prep in Tacoma, has followed the blueprint of dogged defense and impact scoring to help push the Celtics up the standings.
Bradley scored a season-high 22 points, and Paul Pierce added 18 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Celtics to a 109-101 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers.
Kevin Garnett scored 18 points to help the Celtics improve to 12-4 since Rondo was lost with a torn knee ligament.
Bradley was 10 of 15 from the field and had seven rebounds and five assists.
“My teammates have confidence in me and I have confidence in myself,” Bradley said.
Rockets add Brooks
HOUSTON — Aaron Brooks, a graduate of Franklin High School in Seattle, has signed to return to the Houston Rockets.
Brooks, a 28-year-old guard waived by Sacramento on Friday, was drafted by the Rockets in 2007 and was traded in February 2011.