The Norman Transcript

November 16, 2013

Westbrook gets Thunder off skid

Associated Press
The Associated Press

MILWAUKEE — Russell Westbrook scored 26 points and the Oklahoma City Thunder snapped a two-game losing streak with a 92-79 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday night.

Kevin Durant added 24 points for the Thunder, who were coming off back-to-back road losses to the Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors. Serge Ibaka had 15 points and equaled a career high with 20 rebounds.

O.J. Mayo scored 22 points for the Bucks, losers of five straight who continue to play short-handed because of injuries.

Oklahoma City took control with an 11-4 run to end the third quarter — playing with reserves for much of that stretch — and led 72-65 going into the fourth.

Milwaukee was held scoreless for more than four minutes to start the fourth, but went on a quick 8-0 run, cutting the lead to 77-73 on a 3-pointer by Mayo with 6:10 remaining.

But Westbrook hit a jumper, Ibaka swatted away a putback attempt by the Bucks’ Ekpe Udoh, and Ibka hit a shot on the other end to give the Thunder an 81-73 lead with 4:28 left.

The Thunder welcomed back center Kendrick Perkins, who was away from the team for two games in following his grandfather’s death.

Perkins hasn’t been particularly impressive from a statistical perspective, but Thunder coach Scott Brooks said before the game that his ability to defend, especially on pick-and-rolls, makes him invaluable to the team.

The Bucks continue to struggle with injuries — although they weren’t as short-handed on Saturday as they were in a loss at Orlando on Wednesday, when they had only eight healthy players.

But Milwaukee went into halftime with the score tied at 40, holding Oklahoma City to 31.3 percent shooting from the floor in the first half.

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