|Date of game: 12/5/2014
Recap: Philadelphia vs. Oklahoma City
Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Russell Westbrook had 27 points and the Oklahoma City Thunder led wire-to-wire in a 103-91 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday night.
The Thunder were coming off a loss in New Orleans on Tuesday that spoiled Kevin Durant's return from offseason foot surgery and ended the team's first winning streak of the season at two games.
The reigning NBA MVP scored 27 points while playing nearly 30 minutes in his season debut. He played 29 minutes against the Sixers, scoring 10 on 3-of-11 shooting as Westbrook, in his third game back after missing 14 with a broken hand, led the way.
Thunder coach Scott Brooks agreed Durant looked rusty, but stressed that he was just getting his game legs back, and that the team as it looked Friday has only practiced together three times.
"He's not going to have 30 points every night," Brooks said. "He's still two games in. I believe that the work he puts in is going to give him a better rhythm. What you see now is a player who hasn't played in six or seven weeks. He's going to continue to improve."
Serge Ibaka added 19 points for the Thunder and Jeremy Lamb scored 15 off the bench, including a couple of 3-pointers that thwarted an attempted Sixers rally late in the fourth quarter.
The Sixers fell to 1-18, landing right back in the losing column after getting their first win on the road against Minnesota on Wednesday night. The victory kept them from matching the 2009-10 Nets for the worst start to a season in NBA history, but they remain winless (0-11) at home.
Robert Covington scored a career-high 21 points off the bench to lead the Sixers. Michael Carter-Williams had 16 points and 14 assists working against Westbrook all night and Nerlens Noel also posted a double-double, scoring 11 with 10 rebounds.
Westbrook and Carter-Williams jawed often, including after Westbrook airballed a 3-pointer in the third quarter, when the second-year Sixers point guard had something to say.
It came during a 7-0 Sixers run that trimmed Oklahoma City's lead to 72-60. The Thunder went more than five minutes without a field goal, but stretched their lead to 18 with 1:25 left in the quarter.
They carried an 82-67 advantage into the fourth and had another long field goal drought as the Sixers pulled within 10 points on Noel's alley-oop dunk from Carter-Williams and later got as close as seven with three minutes left.
"There was no back down," said Sixers coach Brett Brown. "We had one lull in the third quarter. ... But I thought after that, there was a lot of fight in that young group."
But Lamb knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers around a Philadelphia turnover to cap an 8-0 Thunder flurry and put the game out of reach.
Earlier, Westbrook had eight points and four of his seven assists in the first quarter and the Thunder shot better than 56 percent, leading by as many as nine.
Reserve forward Covington kept the Thunder from pulling away, scoring seven points in the quarter for Philadelphia.
Hollis Thompson hit a 3-pointer to cap a 9-0 Sixers run in the second that cut into a 16-point Oklahoma City lead, but the Thunder pushed it back to 14 and led 57-47 at halftime.Game Notes
The Thunder have won 11 straight meetings since the last Sixers win in the
series on Nov. 15, 2008 ... The Thunder will finish a three-game road trip in
Detroit on Sunday ... The Sixers start a three-game road trip on Saturday in