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Durant leads Thunder over Lakers 118-78

Oklahoma City Thunder v Atlanta Hawks

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 10: Kevin Durant #35 of the Oklahoma City Thunder reacts after a basket against the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena on December 10, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Kevin Durant had 22 points and eight rebounds, Enes Kanter had 19 points and 14 rebounds and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Los Angeles Lakers 118-78 on Saturday for their eighth straight home victory.

Russell Westbrook added 13 points and 11 assists for his 18th double-double of the season for Oklahoma City. The Thunder won for the fifth straight time against the Lakers.

Kobe Bryant sat for Los Angeles with a sore right shoulder, and the Lakers started seldom-used rookie Anthony Brown in his place. Lou Williams scored 20 points and Jordan Clarkson added 15, but the Lakers lost for the 15th time in 17 games.

The Lakers’ point total was their second-lowest this season and the lowest by an Oklahoma City opponent since the Thunder beat the Miami Heat 93-75 on March 22. The Thunder flirted with breaking their record for margin of victory, which is 45 points.

Bryant sat in street clothes on the Lakers’ bench while Durant and Westbrook quickly took control for Oklahoma City.

Facing the inexperienced Brown, Durant went 5 of 7 from the field in the first half and hit both of his 3-point attempts. His first came a little more than 3 minutes into the game to cap an 8-0 Thunder run.

Durant scored 14 first-quarter points to help the Thunder lead 35-15 at the quarter’s end. The Thunder had seven dunks in the first half, three of them alley-oops from Westbrook to Steven Adams. Meanwhile, the Lakers threw five passes out of bounds, and the Thunder led 67-41 at halftime.

The Lakers came no closer than 25 points in the second half and Westbrook and Durant spent the entire fourth quarter on the bench.


Lakers: Los Angeles coach Byron Scott coached the then-New Orleans Hornets (now Pelicans) during their two-season stay in Oklahoma City (2005-06 and 2006-07) and said he has fond memories of that time. ... The Lakers’ final road game of the season will be in Oklahoma City on April 11. ... Brown’s first career start came in his sixth career appearance. He finished with four points on 2-of-9 shooting.

Thunder: The Thunder will play the Lakers in Los Angeles on Wednesday, two days after facing the Los Angeles Clippers on the road. ... Official Zach Zarba called a technical foul on the Thunder’s Serge Ibaka with 26.9 seconds left in the second quarter and Kanter received a technical with 1:38 left in the game. ... The Thunder wore their alternate sleeved jerseys.


The Lakers announced about 90 minutes before the game that Bryant wouldn’t play due to the sore shoulder. The 37-year-old Bryant dunked for the first time this season on Friday against the Houston Rockets, but Scott said there’s no way of knowing if that’s when an injury occurred.

Bryant planned to speak to reporters after the game.

Even on the bench, Bryant remained the focus of conversation. Durant had dinner with Bryant on Friday night and said before the game that Bryant’s 20-year NBA run, all with one team, was “the type of career you want to have when you come into this league.

“For a guy to finish the way he wants to finish, more than half his life as an NBA player, that’s an accomplishment in itself,” Durant said. “If he would’ve never won championships or MVPs, he still played 20 years in this league. It’s amazing. Not too many people can say that.”


Lakers: Visit Denver on Tuesday night.

Thunder: Visit Los Angeles Clippers on Monday night.