Kevin Durant scored 27 points as the Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the shorthanded Memphis Grizzlies.
The Oklahoma City Thunder held off a second-half charge from the shorthanded Memphis Grizzlies to capture a 106-89 win. Memphis is still awaiting the arrival of new acquisitions Tayshaun Prince and Austin Daye and played this game with just nine players in uniform.
The Thunder jumped out to a 32-22 lead after the first quarter and extended it to 58-34 at the break. The Thunder led by as many as 25 points in the third quarter before the Grizzlies went on a big run to get back in the game. The run started after Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook was whistled for a five second violation. He left the game and was visibly upset and eventually headed through the tunnel to the locker room area. Assistant coach Maurice Cheeks followed Westbrook to the back and both eventually returned to the bench area.
Westbrook returned to the game in the fourth quarter and the Thunder quickly reestablished themselves. Kevin Durant led the Thunder with 27 points on 10-of-16 shooting. Westbrook added 21 points, nine rebounds and six assists while Kevin Martin chipped in 16 off the bench. Serge Ibaka recorded a game-high six blocked shots.
Oklahoma City improves to 35-11 on the season and are just one game back of the San Antonio Spurs. The Grizzlies drop to 29-16 and are 6.5 back.