The Oklahoma City Thunder proved why they have the best record in the NBA in a 107-95 win over the injury-depleted Chicago Bulls Thursday night. The Thunder allowed Chicago to hang around in the first half but took care of business on their home floor by closing out the game strong.
Chicago put up a fight despite missing Derrick Rose and Kirk Hinrich due to injury, breaking the 50 point mark at halftime for the first time in eight games. In the first half, the Bulls outrebounded Oklahoma City, 26-22, and were down just 55-52 at the end of the second quarter.
The Thunder pulled away from the Bulls in the second half behind strong three-point shooting and a significant advantage scoring in the paint. Oklahoma City took just nine shots outside of 15 feet in the second half.
Chicago looked inert on offense, without much strategy or unplanned movement. The Bulls relied on Joakim Noah to score and act as the fulcrum for their Rose-less attack, which failed to catch the Thunder off guard. In his second start for the Bulls, point guard DJ Augustin had five turnovers.
Kevin Durant finished with 32 points on 13-of-20 shooting for the Thunder. He added nine rebounds and six assists in the win. Russell Westbrook had an efficient 20 points and 10 assists while shooting 7-of-12 from the field.
For the Bulls, the lone bright spot was Joakim Noah, who finished with 23 points on 8-of-17 shooting. He also added 12 rebounds and had four turnovers. No Chicago starter recorded a positive +/- rating.
Oklahoma City moves to an NBA-best 21-4 while Chicago falls to 9-16, for a 10th-place tie in the Eastern Conference with the Brooklyn Nets.