Los Angeles (dpa) – Russell Westbrook had 34 points with 10 assists, Serge Ibaka netted 21 with a career-high 22 rebounds Thursday, and the Oklahoma City Thunder rolled the cold-shooting visiting Dallas Mavericks 104-89.
Anthony Morrow netted 16 off the bench while reigning league MVP Kevin Durant added just 12 for the Thunder (29-25) whose fourth straight victory moved them into an eighth-place tie with idle Phoenix in the Western Conference playoff race.
German juggernaut Dirk Nowitzki had 14 points, while Tyson Chandler finished with 10 and 13 rebounds for the Mavericks (36-20), who shot a season-low 36.3 per cent from the field and were dominated on the boards 62-39.
Dallas guard Rajon Rondo had five points and six assists after missing six games with a broken bone near his left eye. But newly acquired power forward Amar’e Stoudemire did not play and is expected to make his Mavs debut on Sunday.
The Thunder stretched a 25-19 lead after one to 52-36 at halftime behind 14 second-quarter points from Morrow while the Mavs shot a frosty 29 per cent.
Westbrook dropped in 15 third-quarter points as the lead swelled to 83-65 heading into the final frame.
The Mavs pulled within 10 on four occasions, the last time at 91-81. But Westbrook ran off six of his team’s next eight points to secure the win.