Kevin Durant scores 31 points as Thunder defeats Lakers
BY DARNELL MAYBERRY, Staff Writer, firstname.lastname@example.org •
Published: April 10, 2011
/articleid/3557451/1/pictures/1390952"> Oklahoma City Thunder guard James Harden, left, dunks as Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum looks on during the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, April 10, 2011, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
The Thunder extended its winning streak to four games while bumping the Lakers' losing streak to five.
“We've definitely gotten older and gotten better as a team,” said Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, who scored 26 points with seven assists and six rebounds. “It definitely showed.”
The Lakers entered the game averaging 18.3 turnovers during their four-game losing streak. And they clearly made it a point to take better care of the basketball. They had just one turnover through three quarters. The Thunder had committed 11 leading to 20 Lakers points over that same span. The margin helped the Lakers lead 90-88 going into the fourth quarter.
“That's one thing we talked about at halftime, we only had two blocks and zero steals. And we're one of the league leaders in both of those categories,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. “We wanted to put our hands on the basketball as much as we can.”
Oklahoma City closed the game by holding L.A. to 16 fourth-quarter points. The Thunder forced the Lakers into nine turnovers in the final period.
“We played fourth quarter defense as best as we could possibly play against one of the best teams in basketball,” Brooks said. “It was a good win.”