By Randy Renner
On Saturday in Oklahoma City the Thunder took control of their game with the Lakers from the jump leading by 20 points in the first quarter and by 34 in the second.
Wednesday night in Los Angeles the script was different but the ending was almost exactly the same, a Thunder blowout.
118-78 was the final Saturday and 120-85 was the final tally Wednesday.
The Lakers, with Kobe Bryant back in the lineup, hung with the Thunder for a while and even led 42-39 late in the second quarter of this latest matchup. The OKC bench, which has had its problems all season had some more last night, allowing an early 12-point lead to get away.
The Thunder starters though had perhaps their best game of the season and helped fuel a massive 40-4 run from late in the second quarter through the first half of the third to blow the game wide open.
Much maligned Thunder shooting guard Andre Roberson had maybe the best night of his career, going 7-for-9 and scoring 15 points while grabbing seven rebounds and four steals and blocking four shots.
Kevin Durant was super efficient, also going 7-for-9. He scored 21 points with seven rebounds, five assists and three blocks. It was a block party for the Thunder with 13 swats on the night.
Russell Westbrook led the Thunder with 23 points and again came close to another triple-double with eight rebounds and eight assists.
Every one available played and scored for OKC. Enes Kanter led the bench with 16 points and 11 rebounds.
The only thing that made this game interesting was the interaction between Durant and Bryant. They guarded each other at times and on one possession KD blocked two of Kobe's shots.
"I said, 'You're a long Son of a Bitch,' Bryant joked with reporters after the game. "I hadn't played against him in a while and I forgot how long he was."
The two have become good friends over the last few years and exchanged shoes after the game. Bryant signed his with the inscription "To KD-Be the Greatest!"
"It was fun," Durant said of the matchup down the hall in the visitors lockerroom. "I take on those challenges. Me and him are great friends but he's the same as me between those lines. We can laugh and joke throughout the game but when the whistle sounds we're gonna go at each other."
Bryant finished with 19 points on 7-for-22 shooting after dropping 31 the night before at Denver.
The Thunder flew back to Oklahoma City after the game and are taking today off from practice to spend time with families.
They will host the Chicago Bulls Christmas Day at 1:30 inside Chesapeake Energy Arena in a game that will be nationally televised by ABC