Kevin Durant scored 42 points, Russell Westbrook had 27 points and 10 assists, and the Oklahoma City Thunder easily sent the shorthanded Lakers to their sixth straight loss, 116-101, Friday night in Los Angeles.
Kevin Martin scored 15 points and hit three 3-pointers for the Thunder, who romped to a 27-point lead in the second half of their seventh win in nine games. Oklahoma City (28-8) matched the Clippers for the NBA’s best record with a virtuoso game from Durant, who had 38 points midway through the third quarter.
Kobe Bryant scored 28 for the Lakers, on their first six-game skid since March 2007.
Antawn Jamison added 19 points as Los Angeles looked lost and overmatched in its third straight game without starting big men Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol.
The Thunder eliminated Bryant and the Lakers from last season’s playoffs in five games, but Los Angeles has shown few signs of being able to compete with Oklahoma City this season. Injuries aren’t the only problem, but Howard likely is out for at least another week with a shoulder injury, while Gasol still hasn’t been cleared to return from his concussion.
Steve Nash had 7 points and seven assists in a quiet 30 minutes for the Lakers.
Bulls 108, Knicks 101 —Joakim Noah loved shutting up the chatter almost as much as shutting down the Knicks.
He heard how Carmelo Anthony would come out firing after his suspension, how the Knicks would pay the Bulls back for a tense, testy meeting last month.
Turned out to be the same no contest it was last time.
Luol Deng scored a season-high 33 points in Chicago’s third victory over host New York this season that sent the Knicks to their season-high third straight loss.
‘‘I think it was a big game. A lot of people watching and everybody was saying the Knicks were going to get revenge for what happened last time, nah, nah, nah,’’ Noah said, unable to contain his postgame smile. ‘‘And we came back, held it down again.’’
Topping the 29 points he scored in New York last month, Deng shot 13 of 18 from the field and also led the defensive effort that contained Anthony in the decisive first half of his return from a one-game suspension.
Carlos Boozer added 17 points for the Bulls, whose offense won’t be at full strength until Derrick Rose is back from knee surgery, yet they still shot 57 percent.
Anthony ended up with 39 points for the Knicks, who were roughed up again a night after losing in Indiana. He shot 14 of 32 but said his struggles had nothing to do with Deng and that he simply missed shots he normally makes.
Without starting point guard Raymond Felton and key big men Marcus Camby and Rasheed Wallace, they lack the depth or sharpness on either end they had during their fast start to the season.
‘‘We definitely don’t want to lose. We've got to bounce back, take it one day at a time, one game at a time,’’ Anthony said.
‘‘Sunday is our next game, New Orleans, and that’s a game that we have to go get. It’s a must-win.’’
Grizzlies 101, Spurs 98 — Rudy Gay hit a pull-up jumper from 14 feet with 27.8 seconds left, and host Memphis held off San Antonio in overtime for its fourth straight victory and its first over its Southwest Division rival since the 2011 playoffs.
San Antonio had won five straight in the series since the Grizzlies upset the then-No. 1 seed in the opening round in 2011.
The Spurs also had a 2½-game lead on Memphis coming into this game despite Memphis having played five fewer games, and the teams played at postseason intensity despite the calendar.
Tony Parker forced overtime, beating the buzzer with a 27-footer that tied it at 95. He also opened overtime with a 3-pointer that turned out to be the Spurs’ only bucket as San Antonio went 1 of 10 from the floor. Manu Ginobili missed a long three just before the buzzer.
Warriors 103, Trail Blazers 97 — Stephen Curry scored 22 points, including two free throws with 16.4 seconds left, and Golden State held off a late Portland charge in Oakland, Calif.
David Lee added 24 points and 10 rebounds and helped shut down Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge in a matchup of two of the top power forwards in the Western Conference.
The Warriors led by 20 in the second half before Portland rookie and Oakland native Damian Lillard nearly rallied the Blazers. Lillard scored 17 of his career-high 37 points in the fourth quarter.
Hornets 104, Timberwolves 92 — Greivis Vasquez had 18 points and 13 assists to lead host New Orleans over Minnesota for its fourth straight win.
Nets 99, Suns 79 — Joe Johnson scored 19 points and MarShon Brooks added 17 off the bench, leading host Brooklyn to its fifth straight victory.Continued...