OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Kevin Durant had 36 points, Russell Westbrook scored 27 of his 33 in the first half to stake Oklahoma City to a commanding lead and the Thunder beat the short-handed Los Angeles Lakers 114-108 Friday night.
NBA scoring leader Kobe Bryant had 35 points for Los Angeles, which trailed by as many as 19 before rallying to get within four in the final minute. Dwight Howard added 23 points and 18 rebounds for the Lakers.
What could have been an early showdown between championship contenders instead had the Lakers limping in with a losing record and three key players out because of injuries.
Westbrook's big first half put the Thunder in control, but L.A. charged back with a late 27-12 run to make it interesting.
The game grew tense when Metta World Peace -- already a public enemy in Oklahoma City after he clocked James Harden last season -- and Serge Ibaka each got technical fouls for a confrontation in the closing minutes.
World Peace grabbed Ibaka's back and the...