Sacramento Kings guard Buddy Hield (24) shoots in front of Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George, right, in the second quarter of last night’s game in Oklahoma City.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Russell Westbrook had 19 points, 16 rebounds and nine assists before being ejected, and the Oklahoma City Thunder rallied from a 15-point first-half deficit to beat the Sacramento Kings 95-88 last night.
Carmelo Anthony added 20 points, Paul George scored 18 and Steven Adams had 13 points and 13 rebounds for the Thunder, who avoided what would have been a fourth straight home loss.
Buddy Hield scored 16 points and Willie Cauley-Stein added 15 for Sacramento, which is 1-16 on the road against Oklahoma City since the Thunder franchise moved from Seattle.
Oklahoma City was up 91-77 with 2:51 left before official Matt Boland called two quick technical fouls on Westbrook after he complained about being called for travelling on a play on which he thought he’d been fouled.
Another official, Gediminas Petraitis, then called a technical foul on Thunder coach Billy Donovan for protesting Westbrook’s ejection. Hield made all three technical free throws and Cauley-Stein went 1 of 2 from the line with 2:35 left, pulling Sacramento to 91-84. But the Kings made only one field goal the rest of the way.
The Kings led 24-20 after the first quarter and stretched their advantage to 48-33 after two free throws by Bogdan Bogdanovic with 3:03 left in the half. The Thunder closed the half on an 11-3 spurt to pull to 52-46.
The Thunder seized control with an 11-0 run in the third quarter, highlighted by consecutive alley-oop passes from Westbrook for dunks — first to Anthony, then to Adams. Anthony’s two free throws put Oklahoma City ahead 75-66 with 1:39 left in the quarter.
After the teams went scoreless for the first three-plus minutes of the fourth, Sacramento pulled within seven on a basket by Cauley-Stein, but Patrick Patterson hit two 3-pointers in a 17-second span and Alex Abrines followed with another to extend the Thunder’s lead to 86-70.
Kings: Hield traveled back to Norman on Sunday to visit practice at No. 4 Oklahoma. Hield led the Sooners to the Final Four in 2016. . The Kings, who beat the Thunder on Nov. 7 in Sacramento, haven’t won two straight over the Oklahoma City franchise since the 2007-08 season, when the team was in Seattle. . The Kings made 15 of 25 free throws, only slightly better than the Thunder, who went 14 of 29 from the line.
Thunder: Ace defender Andre Roberson sat out for the eighth straight game with patellar tendinitis in his left knee. . For the 14th straight game, Westbrook recorded a double-double with at least 20 points. The only guard in NBA history to have a longer such streak was Michael Jordan, with 15 straight in 1989. . George, the NBA steals leader, had five. . Westbrook’s 16 rebounds were three off his career high. . During halftime, the team showed a video with Thunder players reciting excerpts from Martin Luther King Jr.’s famed “I Have A Dream” speech.
Kings: Host the Utah Jazz on Wednesday before embarking on a six-game road trip.
Thunder: Host the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday.
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