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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

/articleid/3761859/1/pictures/1970421">Photo - Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook (0) goes up for a dunk as Los Angeles' Steve Nash (10) watches during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Los Angeles Lakers at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, March. 5, 2013. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook (0) goes up for a dunk as Los Angeles' Steve Nash (10) watches during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Los Angeles Lakers at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, March. 5, 2013. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman

“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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