OKLAHOMA CITY — Russell Westbrook scored 26 points, and Oklahoma City took advantage of LeBron James' absence to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 103-94 on Thursday night (Friday, Manila time).
James sat out with left knee soreness, and without him, Cleveland's winning streak ended at eight games. Cavaliers coach David Blatt said before the game that James' injury wasn't too serious, and he would be day-to-day.
Westbrook made 12 of 24 shots and had eight assists and seven rebounds. Kevin Durant added 19 points for the Thunder, who have won four straight and 6 of 7 after a 3-12 start.
Kyrie Irving scored 20 points for Cleveland, but he made just 7 of 21 shots. Kevin Love had 18 points and 16 rebounds, and Tristan Thompson added 14 points and 13 rebounds for the Cavaliers.
Cleveland had another injury scare in the first half. With 1:31 left in the second quarter, Irving jumped to contest a shot by Westbrook, and his knee connected with Westbrook's knee on the way down. Irving clutched his knee, then was helped off the court. A Cavaliers spokesman said it was a left knee contusion, and Irving returned to start the second half.
A 10-0 run by the Thunder, featuring 3-pointers by Serge Ibaka and Anthony Morrow, gave Oklahoma City a 67-57 lead in the third quarter.
Durant, who had been quiet for most of the game, found Morrow for a 3-pointer, then made a 3 himself to help Oklahoma City take a 78-66 lead into the fourth quarter. A step-back jumper, then a 3 by Jackson bumped Oklahoma City's lead to 83-66.
Cleveland made a final push to make it close in the final minutes. A tip-in by Thompson cut Oklahoma City's lead to 95-91 with two minutes to play before Oklahoma City held on.
Thunder: Westbrook made 5 of 7 shots in the first quarter while his teammates made 3 of 15. ... Durant, last year's scoring champion, went scoreless in the first quarter. ... F Perry Jones, who has been battling a right knee contusion, did not play. ... Ibaka fouled out with seven points.
Cavaliers: Matthew Dellavedova started in James' spot. He finished with 14 points and made 4 of 6 3-pointers. ... Cleveland made 10 of 22 shots in the first quarter, but just 21 of 63 the rest of the game.
Thunder: At Minnesota on Friday.
Cavaliers: At New Orleans on Friday.