Westbrook stars as Thunder beat Clippers
LOS ANGELES, United States (AP):
Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder could have been excused for looking ahead to a momentous visit to Golden State and a reunion with Kevin Durant.
Instead, Westbrook added another gutsy performance to his incredible start to his first season as the main man.
Westbrook hit a jumper with 18.7 seconds left to finish with 35 points as the Thunder remained unbeaten with an 85-83 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday.
Westbrook added six rebounds and five assists for the Thunder, who surged in the final minutes of a tight meeting between Western Conference contenders. Although he wasn't near a triple-double for the first time this season, the ferocious point guard carried the Thunder down the stretch, scoring their final six points and making a key hustle play in the last minute.
"That's the only way I know how to get it," Westbrook said. "Nothing was ever given to me growing up, and I always had to find ways to get it. ... I play every game like it's my last."
The Boston Celtics played without new addition Al Horford for the first time this season but thanks to Isaiah Thomas and Amir Johnson, they didn't miss a beat.
Thomas had 23 points and 10 assists, Johnson finished 23 points - including a career-high four 3-pointers - and the Boston Celtics handed the Chicago Bulls their first loss of the season, 107-100.
Eric Bledsoe dropped in a rainbow 3-pointer at the overtime buzzer, giving the Phoenix Suns a 118-115 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers.
Bledsoe finished with 20 points, his only three being the game-winner, a shot that gave the Suns their first win of the season.
Kemba Walker had 22 points and Nicolas Batum scored 17 of 20 points in a pivotal third quarter as the Charlotte Hornets handed the Philadelphia 76ers their fourth straight loss to open the season, 109-93 while Brook Lopez had 34 points and 11 rebounds as the Brooklyn Nets beat the Detroit Pistons 109-101.Lou Williams scored 16 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter as the Los Angeles Lakers rallied after trailing most of the game to beat the Atlanta Hawks 123-116, while James Harden had 30 points and 15 assists as the Houston Rockets routed the New York Knicks 118-99.
DeMar DeRozan continued his hot start by scoring 40 points and outduelling John Wall in a showcase of All-Star guards as the Toronto Raptors beat the winless Washington Wizards 113-103 while JaMychal Green scored 21 points as the Memphis Grizzlies beat the still-winless New Orleans Pelicans 89-83 in overtime and George Hill scored 25 points as the Utah Jazz defeated the Dallas Mavericks 97-81.