Oklahoma City outscored the Los Angeles Lakers 25-14 in the third quarter to extend their five-point halftime lead to 77-61 after three quarters on Sunday at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Kevin Durant got his scoring touch going in the second half to lead the Thunder to a double-digit advantage. World Peace (formerly Ron Artest) was leading the Lakers in scoring with 12 first-half points but was ejected just before halftime for throwing an elbow at James Harden of the Thunder. World Peace was charged with a flagrant foul and thrown out of the game.
This is a big game for the Thunder, who trail the San Antonio Spurs by half a game for the best record in the Western Conference. The significance of that is the team with the best record in the conference or the league at the end of the regular season, which ends on Thursday, is awarded home-court advantage throughout the playoffs.