Share “Thunder rout tired Rockets 117-86”

Thunder rout tired Rockets 117-86

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 29, 2013 at 9:53 pm •  Published: December 29, 2013

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — There will be times the Oklahoma City Thunder will miss Russell Westbrook as he rehabs from another knee surgery, but Sunday certainly wasn't one of those nights.

Kevin Durant had 33 points, 13 rebounds and five assists and the Thunder won their second straight game without Westbrook, beating the Houston Rockets 117-86.

Jeremy Lamb added a career-high 22 points (on 8 of 10 shooting) and five assists for Oklahoma City, which has the NBA's best record at 25-5. The Thunder have won 12 of their last 13 and 20 of their last 22 games.

Reggie Jackson, starting in Westbrook's place, had 16 points and eight assists as the Thunder never trailed and led by as many as 32 points against a team they beat in six games in the first round of last season's playoffs.

Durant said the experience of playing without Westbrook for the final four games of that series and the rest of the playoffs prepared the Thunder for what they must face now.

"It's still tough not having him here, but we know what we have to do now," Durant said. "We learned from our mistakes last time. Hopefully we just keep getting better and when he comes back it's kind of a seamless transition for us."

Oklahoma City shot 57 percent from the field (47 of 82) in dealing the Rockets their worst loss of the season.

The Thunder held James Harden to eight points on 2-of-9 shooting, while Dwight Howard, often stymied by Oklahoma City center Kendrick Perkins, had nine points on 4-of-13 shooting and nine rebounds.

"That team is a very, very high-powered offense," Durant said. "They're so quick up the floor. We just wanted to let them see bodies and just play hard. . We've got to do a better job (defensively) but tonight was a step in the right direction."

Aaron Brooks had 17 points and Chandler Parsons scored 15 for Houston, which was playing its fourth game in five days. The Rockets, who had a three-game winning streak snapped, missed their first 12 shots and shot 36.5 percent from the field (31 of 85).

Houston coach Kevin McHale wouldn't use fatigue as an excuse for the Rockets' performance.

"You're playing basketball," McHale said, shaking his head. "You're not logging tall timbers, believe me. Four games in five nights ... next question.

"We couldn't stop them. We couldn't run. We had nothing."

Oklahoma City is 3-2 this season without Westbrook. The All-Star point guard underwent arthroscopic knee surgery on Friday, his third surgery since last April, when he tore his meniscus after Houston guard Patrick Beverley banged knees with him as Westbrook tried to call a timeout in Game 2 of last season's playoff series.

Continue reading this story on the...