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NBA -- Westbrook's 36 points beat depleted Bulls, 109-100


PhilBoxing.com




CHICAGO -- Without Derrick Rose (torn meniscus), Jimmy Butler (sprained elbow) and Taj Gibson (sprained ankle), the Chicago Bulls didn't have enough firepower to handle the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Russell Westbrook logged 36 points and 11 rebounds and the Thunder broke away late to hand the Bulls their fifth loss in six starts, 109-100, on Sunday afternoon at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.

Without Kevin Durant (foot injury) the Thunder got solid efforts from Enes Kanter (18 points and 18 rebounds) and Steven Adams (14 points and 11 rebounds) while D.J. Augustin, Anthony Morrow and Dion Waiters each had 11 markers.

OKC shot a blistering 46 percent from the field (40 of 87) while the Bulls made only 37 of 83 field goals for a 44.6 percent clip. Chicago made more threes, 9 to 8, but OKC dominated the rebounding department, 52-33.

Rookie Nikola Mirotic knocked down 27 points off the bench to lead the Bulls while Pau Gasol had 20 points and eight boards. Joakim Noah pitched in 15 points and 7 rebounds and E'Tuan Moore added 12 in relief play.

At 37-29, OKC's win put them one full game ahead of the 36-30 New Orleans Pelicans for the 8th and last playoffs berth in the Western Conference. The Pelicans lost a double-overtime thriller to the Denver Nuggets on Sunday night.

The Bulls, meanwhile, plummeted to 4th place in the Eastern Conference with a 40-28 slate. (HDS)

Photo: Russell Westbrook defies Joakim Noah on the way to the hoop. Westbrook scored 36 points to lead the OKC Thunder past the Chicago Bulls, 109-100.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Homer D. Sayson.


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