NBA wrap: Thunder coasts past Bucks in match-up of MVP favourites

OKC took a 9-8 lead on a Russell Westbrook free throw about five minutes into the first quarter and never looked back. A 16-0 run keyed a 31-23 first quarter for Thunder, which took a 60-42 by half-time and went on to win the game, 110-91.

Oklahoma City Thunder's Russell Westbrook in for a lay-up against Milwaukee Bucks during the first half of an NBA basketball game on Tuesday.   -  AP

Billed as a match-up between two of the early favourites for this season’s NBA MVP award, Thunder’s visit to Milwaukee turned out to be an Oklahoma City rout.

OKC took a 9-8 lead on a Russell Westbrook free throw about five minutes into the first quarter and never looked back. A 16-0 run keyed a 31-23 first quarter for Thunder, which took a 60-42 by half-time and went on to win the game, 110-91.

Monday NBA Round-up: 76ers shocks Rockets, Nicks wins again

With the game well in hand, Westbrook played just 26 minutes but came an assist shy of another triple-double. Last season’s MVP finished with 12 points, 10 rebounds and nine dimes.

Meanwhile, Giannis Antetokounmpo – who’s been so sublime early in the season that his MVP odds have been shortened to an astoundingly low 4/5 at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook – shined for the Bucks, per usual, with 28 points on 9 of 14 shooting, eight rebounds and three assists. He lacked any kind of support, however, as none of his team-mates scored in double digits.

Sunday NBA wrap: Warriors, Cavaliers continue early season struggles

Thunder was balanced on offence, Paul George leading the way with 20 points, followed by Carmelo Anthony and reserve Jerami Grant with 17 apiece, Steven Adams with 14, and Westbrook’s 12.

STUD OF THE NIGHT

A day after his 21st birthday, Devin Booker led Suns to a 122-114 win at Brooklyn, sinking 5 of 8 3-point attempts en route to a 32-point night. Booker shot 11 of 22 overall and added seven rebounds and four assists.

D’Angelo Russell, another young guard beginning to make his mark on the league, registered 33 points, six rebounds and four assists for Nets.

It was Booker’s second-straight 30-point game, as he dropped 34 in a losing effort at Portland on Saturday.

DUD OF THE NIGHT

Buddy Hield’s shooting woes linger, as the second-year guard made just 2 of 9 shots, including missing all three of his long-range attempts in the Kings’ 101-83 loss at Indiana. Hield is shooting 37 percent from the field on the season, 25 percent from distance.

HIGHLIGHT

Booker turned Russell all the way around with this behind-the-back dribble before hitting a floater in the lane over Tyler Zeller.

 

WHAT'S NEXT

Rockets (5-3) at Knicks (3-3).

Knicks has a little something going post-Melo, winning three straight, a run some are partly attributing to coach Jeff Hornacek’s decision to insert point guard Jarrett Jack into the starting line-up. Jack is meshing with Kristaps Porzingis, dishing 12 assists to the rising Latvian star in the 28 minutes they’ve been on the court together in those three games, per ESPN.com. New York should expect Houston’s best game on Wednesday night, as Rockets has lost two straight and will have plenty of motivation in this nationally-televised tilt.