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Durant shines as Thunder romp past Rockets

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OKLAHOMA CITY — Kevin Durant had 33 points, 13 rebounds and five assists, and the Oklahoma City Thunder won their second consecutive game without Russell Westbrook, beating the Houston Rockets 117-86 on Sunday night.

Oklahoma City forward Kevin Durant (left) dunks in front of Houston forward Omri Casspi. Durant had 33 points, 13 rebounds and five assists in the win.  ALONZO ADAMS/ASSOCIATED PRESS
ALONZO ADAMS/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Oklahoma City forward Kevin Durant (left) dunks in front of Houston forward Omri Casspi. Durant had 33 points, 13 rebounds and five assists in the win.

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 past 13 and 20 of their past 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 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 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.

CLIPPERS: Coach Doc Rivers has a simple explanation for Blake Griffin’s recent dominance.

“He’s good,” Rivers said.

Griffin has been better than good for the past two weeks, averaging 26.9 points, 11.1 rebounds and 3.4 assists in eight games. He has shot 53.8 percent from the field and 80.6 percent (58 for 72) from the free-throw line. Asked if this stretch is the best he has played in his career, Griffin said, “Might be.”

The Clippers went 6-2 during the stretch, and Griffin said, “The best part about it is we’ve won games.”

Griffin was at his absolute best Saturday night against the Utah Jazz, scoring a season-high 40 points on 13 for 20 shooting and 14 for 17 from the free-throw line. For the season, he is leading the Clippers in scoring (21.9 points a game, 12th in the NBA) and is second in rebounds (10.6).

“I think I’m learning to take what the defense gives you and not trying to force anything,” Griffin said.


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