LOS ANGELES (dpa) – Russell Westbrook had 32 points on 12-17 shooting along with eight assists and seven rebounds in just 23 minutes Friday, and the Oklahoma City Thunder throttled the visiting New York Knicks 105-78.
Playing for the first time since breaking his right shooting hand on Oct 30, the speedy All-Star guard looked to be in mid-season form and his teammates followed with their most-lopsided beatdown of the season.
Westbrook put up 14 quick points in the opening quarter and had 20 by halftime, as the Thunder (5-12) stormed to a commanding 59-33 cushion. The gap grew to as many as 38 in the second half en route to their first two-game winning streak of the season
Amare Stoudemire had a season-high 20 points for the struggling Knicks (4-13), who were without their top scorer, Carmelo Anthony (back spasms) for the second straight game
Grizzlies 112 Trail Blazers 99
Spanish centre Marc Gasol scored 26 points, Mike Conley added 21, 10 rebounds and nine assists, as the league-best Grizzlies (14-2) ended the Trail Blazers’ nine-game winning streak with their eighth victory in nine decisions. Wesley Matthews topped host Portland (12-4) with 26 points.
Warriors 106 Hornets 101
Marreese Speights dropped in 16 of his 27 points in the final quarter, Stephen Curry added 26, and the Warriors (13-2) extended their franchise-best start with an eighth straight win while handing the host Hornets (4-13) an eighth consecutive loss.
Mavericks 106 Raptors 102
Monta Ellis poured in half his 30 points in the final quarter, including a key layup with 21.8 seconds left, and the visiting Mavericks (12-5) snapped the Raptors’ six-game winning streak. Kyle Lowry scored 25 points for East-best Toronto (13-3), which lost All-Star DeMar DeRozan early in the third quarter with a left groin strain.
Clippers 102 Rockets 85
Blake Griffin had 30 points and 10 rebounds, Jamal Crawford netted 21, and the visiting Clippers (10-5) improved to 4-1 on their road trip after beating the short-handed Rockets for the 10th time in the last 11 meetings. James Harden had 16 points to pace Houston (12-4), playing without All-Star centre Dwight Howard (knee strain) for the fifth straight game and losing Isiaiah Canaan (left ankle sprain) in the second quarter.
Spurs 112 Kings 104
Frenchman Tony Parker had 27 points and the reigning NBA Champ Spurs (11-4) rolled to their sixth straight victory and second in a row under assistant Ettore Messina after slipping past the visiting Kings (9-6), playing without their top scorer DeMarcus Cousins, out sick.
Bulls 109 Celtics 102
Jimmy Butler scored 22 points, Derrick Rose had 21 while Spanish star Pau Gasol had 15 with as many rebounds and the visiting Bulls (10-6) sent the Celtics (4-9) to their sixth loss in the last seven outings despite Jared Sullinger’s game-high 23 points.
In other games: The visiting Milwaukee Bucks sent the Detroit Pistons to a seventh straight loss, 104-88: the Atlanta Hawks clipped the visiting New Orleans Pelicans, 100-91; the Indiana Pacers dropped the visiting Orlando Magic, 90-83; the Denver Nuggets rocked the visiting Phoenix Suns, 122-97; and the visiting Minnesota Timberwolves trimmed the West-worst LA Lakers 120-119.