What's Buzzing:
119 -
Team 1 2 3 4
OKC 20 35 29 35
DET 22 29 25 34
110
2-3

Thunder-Pistons Preview

AP - Sports

With star point guard Russell Westbrook looking like his usual self, the Oklahoma City Thunder are hoping to extend their promising start to this season.

A visit to Detroit seems like it could help.

The Thunder seek a ninth consecutive win over the Pistons on Friday night.

Westbrook showed a little rust in his return from two off-season knee surgeries Sunday by missing 11 of 16 shots against Phoenix, but he finished with 21 points in a 103-96 victory. Although he turned the ball over five times Wednesday against Dallas, Westbrook looked much more comfortable with his shot, hitting 10 of 20 to score 22 in a 107-93 victory.

"It's what we expect," coach Scott Brooks said. "That's who he is. He's an aggressive player. He's a talented player that has improved every year.

"This is the guy that we all knew what he was going to do when he came back."

Kevin Durant led the way with 23 points and 10 assists as Oklahoma City (3-1) shot 54.4 percent and scored 27 points in transition.

The Thunder haven't lost to Detroit (2-2) since Dec. 26, 2008, but their last two games at the Palace of Auburn Hills have been decided by a combined three points.

Westbrook had 33 points and Durant scored seven of his 26 points in the final 3:03 to help Oklahoma City pull out a 92-90 victory at Detroit on Nov. 12 in the last meeting between these teams.

The Pistons have alternated wins and losses in their first four games this season.

Detroit shot a season-low 37.9 percent and missed 20 of 25 attempts from 3-point range in a 99-91 loss to Indiana on Tuesday. The Pistons allowed the Pacers to shot 52.1 percent - including 9 of 21 from beyond the arc - and fell behind by as much as 19.

In his first start since being acquired in a trade in the offseason, Brandon Jennings scored a team-best 17 points but missed 14 of 20 shots and had four turnovers. He missed the first two games of the season while recovering from an impacted wisdom tooth and a hairline fracture of his jaw.

One of Detroit's other notable additions, Josh Smith, had 16 points but missed 11 of 16 shots and five of his six from 3-point range.

"We're still getting to know each other. That's important, but we still have to do a better job than we did," said Smith, who also had four turnovers and no assists.

Smith, whose average of 4.8 turnovers per game is among the worst in the league, is averaging 20.3 points on 52.3 percent shooting and 9.0 rebounds in his last six games against the Thunder.

Jennings, meanwhile, has shot 34.7 percent in his career against Oklahoma City - his worst mark against any team - but he's managed to average a respectable 15.1 points in those seven games.

View Comments (6)
  • Lakers-Spurs Preview

    If Kobe Bryant ever took the time to contemplate his final trip to San Antonio, the current state of the Spurs is probably the way he drew it up. The future Hall of Famer may have also pictured his Los Angeles Lakers perched on a similar plateau … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 44 minutes ago
  • Mavericks-Grizzlies Preview

    The Memphis Grizzlies are on their longest winning streak in a year, while the Dallas Mavericks are trying to avoid their longest slide over that same time frame. The Grizzlies try to win for the 10th time in 11 games and send the Mavericks to a … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 56 minutes ago
  • Sources: Kings strongly weighing the firing of coach George Karl

    Sources: Kings strongly weighing the firing of coach George Karl

    Sacramento owner Vivek Ranadive and general manager Vlade Divac were livid about a blowout loss to the Nets. … More »

    Yahoo Sports - 2 hours 4 minutes ago
  • Butler sprains knee as Nuggets rally

    Butler sprains knee as Nuggets rally

    Chicago lost All-Star Jimmy Butler, and then the game. An impressive rally by Danilo Gallinari and the Denver Nuggets pushed aside the Bulls. Gallinari scored 33 points Friday night, and Denver stormed to a 115-110 victory after Butler left in the … More »

    AP - Sports - 2 hours 31 minutes ago
  • Bulls-Timberwolves Preview

    Don't blame Chicago Bulls fans for thinking the worst when Jimmy Butler was being rolled off the floor in a chair after a hard fall. The early diagnosis says Butler's setback isn't in that category, which is some good news for the already banged-up … More »

    AP - Sports - 2 hours 38 minutes ago