Houston’s Russell Westbrook scored 34 points in his return to Oklahoma City, but the Thunder controlled the game from early on to beat the Rockets 113-92 Thursday night.
Westbrook starred 11 seasons for the Thunder, helping Oklahoma City to nine playoff appearances and one NBA Finals, before being traded to the Rockets in the offseason. He received a video tribute then a lengthy ovation from the Chesapeake Energy Arena fans after his pregame introduction.
Danilo Gallinari led Oklahoma City with 23 points, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander added 20 and Chris Paul put in 18. All three were traded to the Thunder from the Los Angeles Clippers for Paul George.
Westbrook was 14 of 26 from the floor but the Rockets’ other star, James Harden, was just 5 of 17 from the floor and 2 of 9 from behind the 3-point line to finish with a season-low 17 points.
Philadelphia 76ers 109 – Boston Celtics 98
Josh Richardson scored 29 points, Ben Simmons added 19 points and nine rebounds and host Philadelphia defeated Boston.
Al Horford contributed 17 points and Tobias Harris had 16 for the Sixers, who played without All-Star center Joel Embiid. Earlier in the day, it was announced that Embiid will have surgery Friday for a torn ligament on the fourth metacarpal on his left hand and be re-evaluated in one to two weeks.
The Sixers improved to 18-2 at home.
Cleveland Cavaliers 115 – Detroit Pistons 112 (OT)
Tristan Thompson poured in a career-high 35 points and grabbed 14 rebounds and Cleveland finished overtime on a 9-2 run to defeat host Detroit.
Kevin Love scored 17 points, including the go-ahead 3-pointer, and had nine rebounds as the Cavaliers avenged a two-point loss to the Pistons on Tuesday. Darius Garland had 20 points and Collin Sexton tossed in 19 for Cleveland.
Andre Drummond racked up 28 points and 23 rebounds for Detroit. Derrick Rose scored 27 points off the bench and added seven rebounds and five assists. Bruce Brown finished with 17 points and eight assists.
Minnesota Timberwolves 116 – Portland Trail Blazers 102
Andrew Wiggins scored 23 points and added a season-best eight assists as Minnesota rolled past Portland in Minneapolis despite missing star center Karl-Anthony Towns (knee) for the 12th straight game.
Robert Covington added 15 points, and Gorgui Dieng recorded 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Timberwolves. Jeff Teague had 12 points and six assists, Jarrett Culver added 12 points and six rebounds, and Keita Bates-Diop had 11 points and eight rebounds as Minnesota improved to 5-3 since ending a season-long 11-game losing streak.
Damian Lillard registered 20 points and eight assists for Portland, which lost for the seventh time in the past nine games. Hassan Whiteside added 15 points and 14 rebounds, CJ McCollum also had 15 points and Gary Trent Jr. tallied 13.
–Field Level Media