LOS ANGELES -- Kevin Durant scored 42 points, Russell Westbrook had 27 points and 10 assists, and the Oklahoma City Thunder easily sent the short-handed Los Angeles Lakers to their sixth straight loss, 116-101 Friday night.
Kevin Martin scored 15 points and hit three 3-pointers for the Thunder, who romped to a 27-point lead in the second half of their seventh win in nine games. Oklahoma City (28-8) matched the Clippers for the NBA's best record with a virtuoso game from Durant, who had 38 points midway through the third quarter.
Kobe Bryant scored 28 for the Lakers, on their first six-game skid since March 2007.
Antawn Jamison added 19 points as Los Angeles looked lost and overmatched in its third straight game without starting big men Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol (see full recap).
Celtics drop RocketsBOSTON -- Paul Pierce scored 16 of his 23 points in the second half and Kevin Garnett added 17 points and four blocks as the Boston Celtics nearly blew a 17-point lead before pulling away late in a 103-91 victory over the Houston Rockets on Friday night.
The Celtics extended their season-high winning streak to five games, but only after surviving a 12-0 run that pulled the Rockets within two points midway through the fourth quarter.
James Harden scored 24 and Chandler Parsons added 18 for Houston, which fell to 0-2 during a three-game road trip that concludes Saturday in Philadelphia (see full story).
Nets win fifth straight
NEW YORK -- Joe Johnson scored 19 points and MarShon Brooks added 17 points off the bench Friday night, leading the Brooklyn Nets to its fifth straight victory, 99-79 over the struggling Phoenix Suns.
The Nets have won three straight games by 20 or more points for the first time in the team's NBA history.
Deron Williams added 14 points and Andray Blatche chipped in 15 points and eight rebounds as the Nets ended a five game home losing streak against Phoenix.
Jared Dudley led the Suns with 18 points and Shannon Brown had 15 off the bench as Phoenix lost its fifth straight and for the 11th time in 12 games.
Bulls top Knicks for third time
NEW YORK -- Luol Deng scored a season-high 33 points in the Chicago Bulls' third victory over New York this season, a 108-101 win Friday that sent the Knicks to their season-high third straight loss.
Topping the 29 points he scored here last month, Deng shot 13 of 18 from the field and also led the defensive effort that contained Carmelo Anthony in the decisive first half of his return from a one-game suspension.
Anthony ended up with 39 points for the Knicks, who were roughed up again a night after losing in Indiana.
Rose is practicing and nearing his return after tearing up his knee in the opener of last season's playoffs. The Bulls have managed to stay among the top teams in the East without him, and three times have outclassed a Knicks team that has been in or near the conference lead all season (see full story).
Randy Foye had 25 points to lead Utah, which had won four of five but was denied its first back-to-back road wins of the season. Al Jefferson had 23 points and 10 rebounds and Paul Milsap had 20 points and 13 rebounds for the Jazz.
The Hawks, who trailed 75-60 in the third quarter, played from behind before taking their first lead of the second half on consecutive baskets by Al Horford. The second basket by Horford, set up by Josh Smith's pass, gave Atlanta a 94-92 lead with 2:44 remaining.
Jefferson answered with a tying basket before Ivan Johnson scored on a fast break to give the lead back to Atlanta (see full story).
Pistons hand Boylan his first loss
MILWAUKEE -- Greg Monroe had 26 points and 11 rebounds, Brandon Knight scored 20 points, and the Detroit Pistons beat Milwaukee, 103-87, on Friday night, handing Bucks interim coach Jim Boylan his first loss.
Detroit led 74-60 going into the fourth quarter and squashed any hope of a Bucks comeback when Monroe scored on a hook shot, layup and dunk and Knight added a 3 as the lead grew to 83-62 with 9:57 to play.
Rodney Stuckey's 3 gave the Pistons another 21-point lead with 2:48 to go and the Bucks didn't get closer than 14 again.
Brandon Jennings and Beno Udrih had 15 points for Milwaukee.
On Monday, the Bucks and coach Scott Skiles mutually decided to part ways. Boylan, a longtime NBA assistant, who had been with Skiles in Phoenix and Chicago, took over and won his first game in charge Tuesday when the Bucks beat Phoenix 108-99. Then, after trailing by 15, Milwaukee rallied to win 104-96 at Chicago on Wednesday (see full story).
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