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Westbrook Leads Thunder Past Cleveland

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OKLAHOMA CITY -

Oklahoma City got off to another sluggish start on Sunday night against the Cavaliers but Russell Westbrook and the Thunder eventually got hot and methodically put away Cleveland 106-91 in Chesapeake Energy Arena.

The Thunder fell behind 11-3 to start the game but, once the subs came in, Oklahoma City got things rolling, eventually tying the game at 19. OKC ended up taking the opening quarter 27-21, which was capped off by a buzzer beating basket from Kevin Martin.

Oklahoma City continued to pull away from Cleveland in the second quarter thanks to 60 percent shooting in the first half to lead 57-46 at the break.

Then in the third quarter, Westbrook took over after the Cavs had a brief surge to tighten the contest. Westbrook scored eight in the third period and ended the quarter with a running 3-pointer off the glass as the buzzer sounded to take a 79-73 lead into the fourth.

That shot provided a boost the Thunder needed and if that wasn't enough, Westbrook gave his team another jolt of energy shortly after.

Westbrook came out and drilled two more 3's on consecutive possession in the opening moments of the quarter to swell the Thunder lead to 12.

Westbrook finished with a game-high 27 points on an efficient 10-for-16 shooting performance, including 4-for-6 from 3-point range. He also dished out 10 assists, hauled in six rebounds and swiped four steals for a well-rounded effort save for his eight turnovers.

Kevin Durant followed closely behind Westbrook in the scoring column with 26 points on 9-of-16 shooting with eight rebounds.

Three other Thunder players reached double figures with Kevin Martin scoring 16 off the bench on 6-of-9 shooting and the post tandem of Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins added 14 and 10, respectively.

Ibaka also added seven blocks. Kyrie Irving led Cleveland with 20 points while Alonzo Gee added 18 for the Cavs, who dropped to 2-5 with the loss.

Overall the Thunder shot 54.8 percent from the floor and 46.7 percent from 3, while also keeping its hot free-throw shooting going at 86.4 percent on 19-of-22 attempts. OKC also outrebounded Cleveland 41-36 but lost the turnover battle 21-12.

The win was the fourth straight for the Thunder, which improved to 5-2 on the season and first place in the Northwest Division. Oklahoma City travels to Detroit on Monday to play the Pistons at 6:30 p.m. in the second meeting between the teams in the past four days.

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