OKC fans have not forgotten last year's incident when Lakers forward Metta World Peace elbowed former Thunder sixth man James Harden toward the end of the regular season. World Peace was booed heartily in pregame introductions and throughout the entire game.
With 2:56 left in Friday's game, World Peace and Thunder forward Serge Ibaka were locked face-to-face after a made free throw. With the crowd chanting “Beat L-A,” each player received a technical foul and remained in the game.
The Lakers were without two starters. Point guard Steve Nash (leg) and power forward Pau Gasol (tendinitis in knees) were inactive for the game.
Jones was inactive for the Thunder and was on crutches with a left ankle sprain. He will rehabilitate the injury in OKC.
Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook scored 27 first-half points and made a career-high five 3-pointers before intermission. He scored just six points, shot just 2 for 10 after halftime and finished with 33 points. … The Thunder is now 16-5 when Durant and Westbrook each score 30-plus. … Howard's 10 rebounds in the first quarter were a season high for a quarter this year. He followed with one rebound in the second quarter and finished with 18. … OKC outscored the Lakers 28-8 in fast-break points while LA outscored the Thunder 44-38 in the paint.
Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni on the state of his team: “We've got things we have to work on. We've got to get Pau and Steve back. They set a bar and they play very well. We know where we've got to go. I'm very encouraged about some of the stuff we're doing.”