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Lakers struggling

Lakers struggling
Russell Westbrook (with ball) led Thunder with 37 points.

Russell Westbrook (with ball) led Thunder with 37 points.

OKLAHOMA – Russell Westbrook scored 37 points, leading six Oklahoma City players in double figures in a 122-105 NBA victory over the Los Angeles Lakers last night at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.

Westbrook added 10 rebounds and Kevin Durant scored 26 points and grabbed nine rebounds for the Thunder, whose two turnovers equalled an NBA record for fewest in a game held by the 2006 Milwaukee Bucks and 2009 Cleveland Cavaliers.

Kobe Bryant scored 30 points for the Lakers, but was hampered by a right elbow injury suffered in the first quarter.

Steve Nash equalled his season-best with 20 points, but it wasn’t enough to stop the Lakers from again falling below .500.

The Lakers, trying to get themselves in playoff position in the Western Conference, had taken their record to 30-30 with a victory over Atlanta on Sunday.

But they got off to a slow start against the Thunder, who raced to a 7-0 lead, held a 37-28 edge after the first quarter and never trailed.

“Obviously our slow start didn’t help any,” said Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni, who said his team was also hurt by 16 turnovers along with misses from the field and foul line.

Bryant said the Lakers failed to deliver defensively.

“We gave up 20 fast-break points. We gave up a lot of points in the paint. We let them attack our rim all night long. We weren’t sound defensively,” he said.

Paul Pierce had 18 points and 11 rebounds, and Avery Bradley scored 22 points to lead the Boston Celtics to a 109-101 win over the Philadelphia 76ers who lost for the ninth time in 10 games.

At Sacramento, California, Ty Lawson had 24 points and Danilo Gallinari added 23 as the Denver Nuggets won their sixth straight game 120-113 over the Sacramento Kings.

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