Durant and Westbrook took turns controlling Friday’s game – Durant with his shooting and Westbrook with his overall playmaking. After making just one of his first five shots, Westbrook finished 10 for 21 from the field.
“Kevin took control most of the game,” Westbrook explained. “My job is to make sure everything is in control and that’s what I tried to do.”
The Lakers (15-21) were missing two starters in 7-foot power forward Pau Gasol (concussion) and 6-foot-11 starting center Dwight Howard (shoulder).
LA did not have two imposing players clogging the lane.
“It’s a little different,” Westbrook said, flashing a huge smile, “but we can’t worry about that, the other team. I think we did a good job of playing our brand of basketball.”
The news got even worse for the Lakers when they learned reserve forward Jordan Hill needs hip surgery and will miss the remainder of the season.
“We have to put things in proper perspective,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. “They have some of their best players not playing tonight and they’re shorthanded. They’re going to be a different team once they get everybody back, but we played well. We made shots and we passed the ball extremely well (28 assists on 44 field goals). … When we defend and rebound, we’re a pretty good team on the offensive end.”
The Thunder’s biggest lead was 27, while the Lakers’ biggest was two. The score was 110-85 when starters were pulled with 4:26 remaining. The Lakers shot 39.8 percent from the field and 21.4 percent from 3-point range.
“If they’re missing that means we know we’re capable of filling up the scoreboard,” Martin said. “Coach Brooks loves to concentrate on field goal percentage on the defensive side of the ball and any time we hold them under 40 percent, we have a good shot of winning.”