AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) — Playing their fourth game in five nights, the Oklahoma City Thunder shook off a sluggish start in time to extend their winning streak.
Russell Westbrook scored a season-high 33 points and keyed a fourth-quarter comeback on his 24th birthday as Oklahoma City rallied to beat the winless Detroit Pistons 92-90 Monday night.
The defending Western Conference champions improved to 6-2 with their fifth straight victory.
"We had to find some energy," Thunder forward Nick Collison said. "We were down for three quarters and we found some energy."
The loss left the Pistons with an 0-8 record, the worst start in franchise history.
"We can't put our heads down. What is this, our seventh game? Eighth?" said Detroit guard Rodney Stuckey, who led the Pistons with 19 points. "There's a lot more games. We've just got to keep fighting."
Westbrook, who also had 10 rebounds and four assists, contributed six points — all on free throws — to a 13-0 Thunder run to open the fourth quarter that turned a 73-62 deficit into a 75-73 lead with 8:11 left.
"I looked up and we were down 11 going into the fourth quarter," Kevin Durant said. "And then I looked up and Russ was at the line and he didn't miss and we were down by two."
Durant, who had 26 points and nine rebounds, hit a tough runner with 47.8 seconds remaining that gave Oklahoma City an 88-85 advantage.
Thunder coach Scott Brooks went to a smaller and more athletic lineup in the fourth quarter, when Oklahoma City outscored the Pistons 30-17.
"I thought the guys did a great job of showing some activity, getting their hands on loose balls and rebounding the basketball," Brooks said. "Then we spread the court offensively and we were doing a good job of attacking and getting to the free throw line."
Oklahoma City shot only 37 percent from the field but was 37 of 42 at the free throw line, led by Durant (10 for 10) and Westbrook (11 for 15).
"We started switching and made it tough for them to execute," Collison said. "They really execute well, but they have struggled as well. But their offense was pretty good. We switched everything and they stopped getting advantages off the offense."
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