OKC Thunder: Russell Westbrook continues trend of scorching starts

THUNDER NOTEBOOK — The Oklahoma City point guard has been on fire since the All-Star break, especially in the first quarter. That trend continued Tuesday night in the Thunder's 122-105 win over the Lakers.
BY JOHN ROHDE Published: March 5, 2013

“It just goes back and forth a little bit,” Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni said of Bryant and Steve Nash trading off as the team's top assist man. “Kobe's just being a little bit more aggressive because, to be honest with you, he's shooting the ball a lot better. It depends also on what other teams do. If he's passing the ball, they have to stay away a little bit and stay on Nash. … You'll just have to read the game.”

FAN'S HALF-COURT SHOT TO AID WIFE'S CANCER BATTLE

Fan Heath Kufahl made the MidFirst half-court shot between the third and fourth quarters to win $20,000.

His wife, Jenni, was recently diagnosed with cancer and that's where the money will go.

TIP-INS

Oklahoma offensive lineman Gabe Ikard continues to invite a different teammate to each Thunder game. Seated with him in the front row Tuesday was fellow lineman Austin Woods, who was stricken with Hodgkin's lymphoma. … The Lakers missed their first 10 shots of the game and then made eight of their next 10. … OKC never trailed, jumped out to a 7-0 lead and led by as many as 18, but the Lakers trailed by just 110-105 with six minutes left. … Sign in the stands: “KOBE, SMACK THIS.”

QUOTABLE

Durant on teammate Serge Ibaka, who was fined $25,000 for punching former Oklahoma standout Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers in the groin area on Sunday afternoon: “Serge plays physical and everybody knows that. It was an unfortunate play. Serge is not a dirty player. Him and Blake Griffin always battle hard. It was just a tough play. I'm glad nobody was hurt, first off. Serge kept his cool and played well after that.”

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