OKLAHOMA CITY — Russell Westbrook had 37 points and 10 rebounds, Kevin Durant scored 26 and the Oklahoma City Thunder held off a second-half charge to beat the improving Los Angeles Lakers 122-105 on Tuesday night.
The Thunder led from start to finish, but had their 18-point lead whittled down to five midway through the fourth quarter. Serge Ibaka, who dodged a suspension after delivering a low blow against Blake Griffin in Oklahoma City's previous game, hit a 3-pointer and Westbrook had a two-handed slam as the Thunder scored the last 12 points.
Los Angeles didn't score for the last 6:14.
Kobe Bryant ended up with 30 points after leaving the game with a right elbow injury in the first quarter. Steve Nash matched his season best with 20 points as the Lakers fell back below .500 after reaching the mark for the first time since December.
Oklahoma City tied an NBA record with two turnovers. Milwaukee set the record in a game against Indiana on April 1, 2006, and Cleveland tied it in an overtime game against Portland on March 19, 2009.
The Lakers trailed by as much as 18 in the opening minutes of the second half. But Bryant and Nash hit 3-pointers during a string of eight straight points to get the deficit down to 85-79 with 3:31 to go in the third quarter.
Oklahoma City bumped the lead back up to 104-91 on Derek Fisher's 3-pointer soon after a fan hit a half-court shot to win $20,000 in the break between the third and fourth quarters. The Lakers then got as close as 110-105 after Nash's 3-pointer with 6:14 left.
Nash and Metta World Peace each missed 3s during a string of four straight empty possessions with L.A. down by six, and Ibaka then connected on a 3-pointer from the right corner to help the Thunder start pulling away.
World Peace finished with 16 points and Dwight Howard had six points and 16 rebounds before fouling out with 2:24 remaining. Los Angeles fell to 1-11 in road games against the teams that currently occupy the eight Western Conference playoff spots and is now 2 1/2; games behind eighth-place Utah.
After finally pulling back to .500 during a season marred by injuries, the Lakers got another big scare. Bryant came out of the game and headed to the locker room with a right elbow injury less than 4 minutes in. Bryant air-balled his first shot from 3-point range and was grabbing at the elbow, even crossing up arms with Durant after the ball had been stolen away by Durant.
A trainer accompanied Bryant to the locker room, starting an anxious few minutes for a team that has already had All-Stars Howard, Nash and Pau Gasol miss time with injuries this season. Gasol is out another two to four weeks with a right foot injury, and reserve Jordan Hill is out for the season after surgery on his left hip.
Bryant was able to return about 41/2; minutes later, making his first shot a left-handed hook. He dribbled predominantly with his left hand and even snagged one rebound by cradling it in his left arm.
By the time Bryant went out, the Thunder had already delivered an opening 7-0 burst while Los Angeles missed its first 10 shots from the field. Oklahoma City also closed the first half with seven straight points to go up 71-55 after Durant's step-back jumper. It was the highest scoring first half of the season for Oklahoma City.
Celtics 109, 76ers 101
At Philadelphia, Paul Pierce had 18 points and 11 rebounds, and Avery Bradley scored 22 points to lead the Boston Celtics to a win over the Philadelphia 76ers.
Kevin Garnett scored 18 points to help the Celtics continued their push up the Eastern Conference standings. The Celtics entered in seventh, but were no more than two games behind the next three teams ahead in the standings.
Led by Pierce, the Celtics controlled the game and used a 9-0 run midway through the fourth quarter to seal the win. Last May, these two teams went to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. On Wednesday, the Sixers lost for the ninth time in 10 games and are well out of the playoff race.
Jrue Holiday had 18 points and 10 assists for the Sixers, and Thaddeus Young had 19 points and 10 rebounds.
Nuggets 120, Kings 113
At Sacramento, Calif., Ty Lawson had 24 points and Danilo Gallinari added 23 for the Nuggets as they won their sixth straight game.
The deep and talented Nuggets used a 36-point third quarter to build a lead against the Kings that they never relinquished in winning their season-best third straight road game. They scored 70 second-half points when they shot nearly 64 percent.
The streaking Nuggets have won seven of eight games, including 11 in a row at home, where they own a 26-3 record, which ties Miami for the best mark in the NBA.