Thunder rout tired Rockets 117-86
- Article by: MURRAY EVANS
- Associated Press
- December 29, 2013 - 8:40 PM
OKLAHOMA CITY — Kevin Durant had 33 points, 13 rebounds and five assists, and the Oklahoma City Thunder won their second straight game without Russell Westbrook, beating the Houston Rockets 117-86 on Sunday night.
Jeremy Lamb added a career-high 22 points and five assists for Oklahoma City, which has the NBA's best record at 25-5. The Thunder have won 12 of their last 13 and 20 of their last 22 games.
Reggie Jackson, starting in Westbrook's place, had 16 points and eight assists.
Aaron Brooks had 17 points and Chandler Parsons scored 15 for Houston, which was playing its fourth game in five days. The Rockets, who had a three-game winning streak snapped, missed their first 12 shots and shot 36.5 percent from the field (31 of 85).
Oklahoma City shot 57 percent (47 of 82) in dealing the Rockets their worst loss of the season.
Oklahoma City moved to 3-2 on the season without Westbrook. The All-Star point guard underwent arthroscopic knee surgery on Friday, his third surgery since last April, when he tore his meniscus after Houston guard Patrick Beverley banged knees with him as Westbrook tried to call a timeout in Game 2 of a first-round playoff series.
The Thunder have said Westbrook's latest surgery will sideline him until after the All-Star break. Oklahoma City won 89-85 at Charlotte on Friday night in their first game since that surgery, as Durant had 34 points and 12 rebounds.
Oklahoma City jumped to a 13-0 lead as the Rockets — making their first trip to Oklahoma City since falling to the Thunder in six games in their playoff series — failed to score until Dwight Howard hit a 3-foot jump hook with 5:27 left in the first quarter.
The Thunder extended their lead to 22-5 on a driving layup by Thabo Sefolosha and were up 26-14 at the end of the quarter. The Thunder's lead stayed in double digits most of the second quarter and Oklahoma City led 56-44 at halftime.
Parsons opened the second half with a corner 3-pointer to pull the Rockets within nine points, but Durant hit two 3-pointers and Jackson had another during a 15-0 run to give Oklahoma City its biggest lead to that point at 71-47.
Houston came no closer than 17 points the rest of the way and Oklahoma City's lead eventually reached as many as 32 points, with Lamb putting on a shooting show, finishing 8 of 10 from the field, including 3 of 4 from 3-point range.
Houston had all five starters reach double figures in scoring in two of its previous three games, but only Parsons did so against Oklahoma City. Howard struggled against the defense of Oklahoma City's Kendrick Perkins and had nine points and nine rebounds.
Houston also struggled at the free throw line, hitting just 17 of 31 attempts (54.8 percent).
Sefolosha scored 13 points, one off his season high, for Oklahoma City. Omri Casspi added 15 points for the Rockets.
Notes: James Harden, a former fan favorite with the Thunder before being traded to Houston before last season, received a strong mix of boos and cheers during pregame introductions. Right before the tipoff, Harden walked over to the Thunder bench to greet some of his former teammates and coaches . Houston's 14-point first quarter was a season low and the Rockets' second-lowest quarter of the season . Aaron Brooks hit a halfcourt shot at the end of the third quarter, which pulled the Rockets within 90-70 . Oklahoma City is 13-1 at Chesapeake Energy Arena this season, falling only to Toronto on Dec. 22.
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