OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma — The Oklahoma City Thunder beat the short-handed Chicago Bulls 92-78 on Sunday, delivering a dominant victory that booked their place in the NBA playoffs.
Russell Westbrook scored 27 points and Kevin Durant added 26 points and 10 rebounds as the Thunder moved within one game of the playoff-bound Bulls for best record in the league.
The Bulls hadn’t lost on the road since February 12 at Boston, but they never led this one and trailed by as many as 30 points in the fourth quarter.
“We played our best defense of the year,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. “I like the way the guys got after the basketball. They challenged every pass, they challenged every shot.”
Although the Bulls were without NBA Most Valuable Player Derrick Rose for a 10th straight game, Chicago coach Tom Thibodeau said the rest of the Bulls failed to step up.
“I was more concerned with the mental aspect. I thought we made a lot of mental mistakes,” he said.
Reserve John Lucas was the Bulls’ top scorer with 19 points.
“We were awful offensively and defensively,” said Chicago’s Joakim Noah. “It’s disappointing.”
» NBA ROUNDUP | Spurs remain unbeaten on the road; Westbrook grabs 44th career triple-double
» NBA ROUNDUP | No Davis, no problem as Pelicans rip Hawks; Knicks edge Blazers
» NBA ROUNDUP | Jeff Teague lifts Pacers over Thunder despite Westbrook heroics; Knicks down Hawks