Thunder runs win streak to 4 games
When the Trail Blazers closed in on the Thunder, Russell Westbrook considered it his responsibility to set things right. The Blazers, who trailed...
PORTLAND — When the Trail Blazers closed in on the Thunder, Russell Westbrook considered it his responsibility to set things right.
The Blazers, who trailed by as many as 21 points, closed within five in the third quarter, but Westbrook came back with consecutive jumpers and Oklahoma City went on to win 109-95 on Tuesday night.
"The home team will always make runs and my job as point guard is to take control of the game and not let things get out of whack," he said.
Westbrook finished with 32 points and eight assists to pace the Western Conference-leading Thunder to its fourth straight win. Kevin Durant scored 25 points and James Harden added 21 off the bench for the Thunder, which built a 65-47 lead by halftime.
"In the second (half) we were a little stagnant and we weren't getting any shots, so he just took it over," Durant said of Westbrook. "That's what great point guards do."
LaMarcus Aldridge had 20 points and eight rebounds as Portland fell to 3-4 under Kaleb Canales, who took over as interim coach when the Blazers fired Nate McMillan at the NBA trade deadline.
The Blazers were coming off a 90-87 victory over Golden State on Sunday. Portland has not had back-to-back wins since January.
The Thunder (38-12) was coming off a 103-87 victory at home over the Miami Heat on Sunday. Oklahoma City heads to Staples Center to face the Lakers on Thursday before hosting the Eastern Conference-leading Chicago Bulls on Sunday.
DALLAS — Jason Terry scored seven consecutive points in a minute to start a game-turning run in the third quarter for Dallas in a 90-81 victory over Houston.
A breakaway layup by Terry with 6:39 left in the third quarter started a 19-6 Dallas run. He also got credit for a layup after a goaltending call, and swished a three-pointer from the top of the key for a 55-53 lead with 5:39 left in the quarter, the Mavericks' first lead since the game's opening minutes.
The 34-year-old guard from Seattle's Franklin High School finished with 12 points and four assists.
Dirk Nowitzki had 21 points despite a bad shooting night (5 of 17) for the Mavericks.
Kobe is back
OAKLAND, Calif. — Kobe Bryant is back to being the closer.
Two days after getting benched late in a home loss to Memphis, Bryant made two jumpers in the final 64 seconds, finishing with 30 points to lead the Los Angeles Lakers past the short-handed Golden State Warriors, 104-101.
Bryant missed his first two shots in the final period before twice rising over two defenders for difficult fallaway jumpers from the corner. The first tied the game and the second put the Lakers ahead by two — and for good — with 32 seconds remaining.
Former Warriors forward Matt Barnes had 28 points and 10 rebounds, and Pau Gasol added 19 points and 17 rebounds to give Los Angeles its third win in four games.
Former Cougar Klay Thompson had 20 points and seven assists for Golden State.
• Australian point guard Patrick Mills signed with San Antonio after last playing in China during the NBA lockout. He averaged 5.1 points in two seasons with Portland. Mills fills a void left by point guard T.J. Ford, who abruptly retired this month due to injury concerns.
• Toronto guard Jerryd Bayless is expected to miss the rest of the season with a partially torn left oblique muscle.
• Cleveland guard Daniel Gibson has a torn tendon in his left foot and ankle and will likely miss the rest of the season.
• Miami forward LeBron James may have a dislocated finger on his non-shooting hand. The Heat confirmed James had the finger taped during Monday's game, but offered no further comment.