(The Sports Xchange) – The anticipated matchup between Russell Westbrook and Jimmy Butler fizzled, but Westbrook sizzled to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 109-94 win against the Chicago Bulls on Monday at the United Center.
Led by Westbrook’s 21 points, nine rebounds and 14 assists, the Thunder (23-16) cruised to the victory while capitalizing on Butler’s illness, which prevented him from attending Chicago’s morning shootaround.
Butler, who was named the NBA’s Eastern Conference Player of the Week earlier Monday, played just 28:48 and finished with one point. He went 0-for-6 from the field, 0-for-2 from the three-point line and was removed in the second half because of the illness.
Dwyane Wade had 22 points, Michael Carter-Williams added 15 and the Bulls (19-19) got 11 points each from Jerian Grant and Cristiano Felicio.
It wasn’t nearly enough to stay with the Thunder, who had three players join Westbrook in double-figure scoring, including Steven Adams (22 points), Enes Kanter (20 points) and Victor Oladipo (13 points).
Oklahoma City led most of the first half, building a 17-point margin in the second quarter and taking a 61-46 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Chicago pulled as close as 67-57 on a three-point play by Taj Gibson (9 points) with 6:51 left in the third, but that was as close as it would get.
The Thunder went on a 9-0 run in the final three minutes of the third to blow the game open and continued their onslaught in the fourth. The victory ended a four-game road losing streak for Oklahoma City, which won its second straight game overall.
The Bulls will conclude a back-to-back set Tuesday at the Washington Wizards and fell to 1-8 this season in the first game of back-to-backs.