(The Sports Xchange) - Guard Russell Westbrook scored 36 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 109-100 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Sunday at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.
The Bulls (40-28) have dropped five of their last six games and are tied in the loss column with the Washington Wizards for fourth in the Eastern Conference Standings.
The Thunder (37-29) are now a game ahead of the New Orleans Pelicans for eighth place in the Western Conference.
Thunder center Enes Kanter posted 18 points and 18 rebounds for his sixth double-double since being traded to Oklahoma City. Center Steven Adams added 14 points and 11 boards.
Forward Nikola Mirotic paced the Bulls with 27 points off the bench. Center Pau Gasol scored 20 points on 9-of-17 shooting. Forward Joakim Noah scored 15 points, but was limited to three rebounds.
The Thunder held a 94-90 advantage with 4:06 on the clock.
Mirotic connected on a pair of free throws to get the Bulls within two. After a Kanter miss, Bulls guard E‘Twaun Moore was fouled by Adams on a layup attempt. Adams fouled out and Moore closed gap to one.
With 1:27 left in the contest, Westbrook made one of two free throws. He then came up with a steal sprinted the court for the layup over Bulls guard Aaron Brooks to give Oklahoma City a 99-95 lead.
Westbrook found guard Anthony Morrow for an open 3-pointer, which he drained with 40.6 seconds left.
Gasol answered with a jumper, but Westbrook took the points right back when he raced coast-to-coast for a layup that sealed the win.
Shooting woes plagued both teams at the start of the game. The Bulls shot a woeful 29.2 in the opening quarter while the Thunder were even worse at 20 percent.
However, the Thunder out rebounded Chicago 22-14 in the first quarter, and Kanter set a franchise record for rebounds in a quarter by pulling down 10.
After trailing Oklahoma City by eight, the Bulls stormed back to tie the game at 47-47 heading into halftime.
Editing by Julian Linden