OKLAHOMA CITY - Kevin Durant had 36 points, Russell Westbrook scored 27 of his 33 in the first half to stake Oklahoma City to a commanding lead and the Thunder beat the short-handed Los Angeles Lakers 114-108 Friday night.
NBA scoring leader Kobe Bryant had 35 points for Los Angeles, which trailed by as many as 19 before rallying to get within four in the final minute. Dwight Howard added 23 points and 18 rebounds for the Lakers.
What could have been an early showdown between championship contenders instead had the Lakers limping in with a losing record and three key players out because of injuries.
Westbrook's big first half put the Thunder in control, but L.A. charged back with a late 27-12 run to make it interesting.
The game grew tense when Metta World Peace - already a public enemy in Oklahoma City after he clocked James Harden last season - and Serge Ibaka each got technical fouls for a confrontation in the closing minutes.
World Peace grabbed Ibaka's back and the two barked at each other face to face and chest to chest, with Ibaka then grasping the back of World Peace's jersey.
Ibaka rared back with his right fist clenched, but the two were separated before it escalated any further.
The Lakers never backed down. After trailing by 12 with 1:32 remaining, Jodie Meeks drove for a pair of layups and Chris Duhon followed with a three-pointer to cut the deficit to 110-105. Bryant followed Durant's two free throws with a three-pointer from the corner to get the deficit down to four with 15 seconds left.
Durant hit two foul shots and Meeks airballed a three-pointer as the rally fizzled.
• 76ers 95, Celtics 94, OT: In Philadelphia, Evan Turner had 26 points and 10 rebounds and Thaddeus Young added 17 points and 12 rebounds.
Turner drove past Courtney Lee and tossed up an off-balance, right-handed shot for a 95-94 lead with 3.9 seconds left. Boston guard Rajon Rondo slipped and his ankles buckled on the last possession, costing him a chance to hit the potential game-winner.
• Spurs 114, Rockets 92: In San Antonio, Tony Parker had 17 points and seven assists, and San Antonio never trailed.
The Spurs had six players score in double figures while matching their season high with 33 assists.
• Bucks 108, Bobcats 93: In Milwaukee, Ersan Ilyasova scored a season-high 21 points and Marquis Daniels had season highs with 18 points and six rebounds.
• Jazz 131, Raptors 99: In Salt Lake City, Paul Millsap scored 20 points, Enes Kanter had 18 in his first career start and the Jazz hit 13 three-pointers.
• Kings 91, Magic 82: In Sacramento, DeMarcus Cousins had 17 points and 14 rebounds and reserve guard Isaiah Thomas also scored 17.
• Nuggets 92, Pacers 89: In Indianapolis, Andre Miller scored eight of his 15 points during a late 10-0 spurt.
• Warriors 109, Nets 102: In New York, David Lee had 30 points and 15 rebounds, Stephen Curry scored 28 points, and Golden State gave coach Mark Jackson a winning return to Brooklyn.
• Hawks 104, Wizards 95: In Atlanta, Josh Smith had 23 points and 15 rebounds and Al Horford also posted a double-double to keep Washington winless on the road.
• Bulls 108, Pistons 104: In Detroit, Joakim Noah had 30 points and 23 rebounds, setting career highs in both categories and helping Chicago beat Detroit for the 16th straight time.
• Timberwolves 91, Cavaliers 71: In Minneapolis, Kevin Love had 36 points and 13 rebounds.
• Grizzlies 96, Hornets 89: In New Orleans, Rudy Gay tied a season high with 28 points and the Grizzlies maintained their NBA-best winning percentage.