Tuesday, December 21, 2010
NBA Wrap: Bulls Rout Sixers by 45 points 121-76
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Kevin Durant scored 32 points and the Oklahoma City Thunder overcame a poor shooting night by dominating the fourth quarter in a 99-81 victory over the reeling Charlotte Bobcats on Tuesday night.
The Thunder quickly erased a 69-68 deficit entering the final period with a 25-3 run full of dunks and transition buckets off Charlotte turnovers. The Bobcats missed their first 11 shots, threw the ball away five times and didn't get their first field goal of the quarter until 2:52 remained, producing sarcastic cheers.
Durant hit 14-of-16 free throws and added seven rebounds. Russell Westbrook scored 15 points, James Harden added 13 and Jeff Green scored nine of his 12 points in the fourth, when the Thunder outscored Charlotte 31-12.
Oklahoma City overcame 44 percent shooting by holding the Bobcats to 40 percent from the field. It was a much better defensive effort than in Sunday's 113-110 home loss to a depleted Phoenix team. Coach Scott Brooks said he "flushed it out" at practice Monday in which he said he did most of the talking.
Bobcats coach Larry Brown's words don't seem to be working anymore.
CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago Bulls were just looking for a quicker start and better defensive play against the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday.
What they got was perhaps the season's most complete effort in a 121-76 rout.
"There was not much not to like," said Chicago coach Tom Thibodeau, whose team won its eighth in nine games. "We came out from the start with great energy. The shots went down for us early. Defensively we did a good job with body position and getting back challenging shots."
Derrick Rose collected his seventh double-double with 22 points and 12 assists. Luol Deng also had 22 points and four other Bulls hit double figures as Chicago led by as many as 51 points late in the game.
"It was a good, old-fashioned butt kicking," said Sixers forward Elton Brand, who managed just six points and two rebounds. "They did whatever they wanted. They scored on eight of their first 11 plays and we couldn't come back. They scored at will."
Despite missing two big men, Chicago dominated nearly every offensive category and recorded its most lopsided win of the season.
Carlos Boozer had 16 points and 11 rebounds, and Kurt Thomas added 12 points. Andre Iguodala scored 17 points and reserve Thaddeus Young added 12 for Philadelphia.
Chicago, coming off a 100-99 loss to the Clippers, trailed only in the opening minute. The Bulls then used a 10-0 run later in the first quarter to open its first double-digit lead. The advantage grew to 90-50 with 1:01 left in the third and 50 with less than five minutes to play.
"We did a great job getting ready to play," Boozer said. "We were disappointed at how we started the last game (and) it's been a point of emphasis in the last couple days of practice. We did a great job of being ready offensively and being ready defensively."
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) All the uncertainty around Orlando couldn't have worked out better for the Dallas Mavericks.
Not that they've had a problem with anybody lately.
Caron Butler scored 20 points, Dirk Nowitzki had 17 and the streaking Mavericks became the latest team to topple the reconstructed Magic in a 105-99 victory Tuesday night.
"We still know who they had," Nowitzki said of a Magic team that just overhauled its roster. "Dwight (Howard) is their focus. They have a bunch of shooters, Jameer (Nelson) and all those guys."
In other words, still not good enough to beat the NBA's elite.
Nowitzki also passed Celtics great Larry Bird for 25th on the NBA's career scoring list, finishing the night at 21,798 points. Tyson Chandler added 16 points to help the Mavericks pull away in the fourth quarter for their 16th win in 17 games.