Westbrook scores 27, Thunder win 127-117 over Lakers

OKLAHOMA CITY: It would have been understandable for the Oklahoma City Thunder to overlook the struggling Los Angeles Lakers Tuesday night with a road game looming against defending NBA champs San Antonionba-logo
NBA scoring leader Russell Westbrook refused to let that happen, scoring 27 points and adding 11 assists as the Thunder beat the Lakers 127-117 for their fourth straight victory.

Westbrook took over the game after the Lakers had closed to 70-61 three less than three minutes into the second half, getting a steal and dunk and draining a 3-pointer seconds later on his way to a 14-point third quarter.

Enes Kanter contributed 25 points and 16 rebounds, and for the second straight game, got off to a fast start, recording a double-double in the first quarter with 15 points and 10 rebounds as Oklahoma City raced out to a 37-27 lead.

Kanter has scored 52 points and grabbed 28 rebounds in his last two games. Many of his points have come after offensive rebounds, especially when defenses try to gang up on Westbrook when he drives to the basket.

For the Lakers, it was their 10th loss in the last 12 games, as they saw their road record fall to 7-27. Jordan Clarkson tried to keep Los Angeles competitive, scoring 30 points, but his team was able to get no closer than the final 10-point deficit down the stretch.

Kings finally beat 76ers at home, Bucks to 89-88 win over Heat

SACRAMENTO: Having a big game offensively is nothing new for Sacramento Kings star center DeMarcus Cousins.

But Tuesday night against the Philadelphia 76ers, it was Cousins’ defense that was one of the keys to victory. He had 33 points, 17 rebounds, four steals and four blocks for the Kings, who dealt the 76ers their 16th straight road loss, with a 107-106 victory.

On Philadelphia’s final possession, Cousins stepped in front of a driving Hollis Thompson and poked the ball free and it landed in the hands of teammate Ray McCallum in the closing seconds to preserve the victory.

Not known for their defense, the Kings limited Philadelphia to no field goals and three points in the final 6:12 of the game. Sacramento forced 16 of Philadelphia’s 20 turnovers in the second half, which was a major factor in a comeback that led to the Kings’ first-three-game winning streak since late November.

Trailing by seven points, Covington hit two 3-pointers and had a three-point play in a 38-second span, putting the 76ers ahead 100-98 with 6:44 left. Another 3 a short time later gave Philadelphia a 103-100 lead.

MILWAUKEE Khris Middleton drilled the game-winner, but Jerryd Bayless may have jump-started the struggling Milwaukee Bucks.

Bayless, listed at 6-foot-3, tied up and then won a jump ball against 6-9 Michael Beasley with 10.8 seconds left to set up Middleton’s 3-pointer at the buzzer as the Bucks snapped a six-game losing streak with an 89-88 comeback victory over Miami on Tuesday night.

Bayless missed on a drive down the lane, but Zaza Pachulia tapped the ball back out to Middleton, who buried the winner. He finished with 13.

The Heat pulled away from a 53-all tie with a 19-6 run midway through the third quarter, taking a 72-59 lead on a 3-pointer by Henry Walker with 3:22 left in the period.

Miami outscored the Bucks 28-16 in the third as Milwaukee made just 7 of 26 shots in the period. Henry Walker made all three of his third-quarter 3-point attempts, his highest scoring quarter of the season.

Results:

Detroit Pistons 108 beat Toronto Raptors 104, Milwaukee Bucks 89 beat Miami Heat 88, Oklahoma City Thunder 127 beat Los Angeles Lakers 117, Dallas Mavericks 101 beat San Antonio Spurs 94, Sacramento Kings 107 beat Philadelphia 76ers 106, Golden State Warriors 122 beat Portland Trail Blazers 108

Vishnu Ravi Shankar
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