OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Paul George scored 16 of his game-high 24 points in the final five minutes of the first half and the Oklahoma City Thunder rolled to a 121-96 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Monday night.
George’s scoring outburst came in the final 4:47 of the second quarter as Oklahoma City outscored the Bulls 23-7 and built a 64-44 lead by the break. He scored just one point in the second half.
Russell Westbrook had 13 points, 16 rebounds and 11 steals for his 111th career triple-double. Steven Adams added 19 points and Dennis Schroder scored 18 for the Thunder.
Lauri Markkanen and Bobby Portis had 16 points apiece to lead Chicago. Markkanen adding 15 rebounds.
Westbrook secured the triple-double by threading a pass in the lane to a driving Hamidou Diallo, who finished with a reverse layup as he was knocked to the court and fouled with just over six minutes remaining.
The Thunder sped into the lead with a 21-3 run that erased a 15-10 deficit. But the Bulls quickly reeled off a 19-8 run of their own and closed the gap to two points.
From there, the Thunder took control, building a comfortable lead thanks to George’s 6-for-6 shooting to close to the half.
The game was halted for several minutes with 4:27 left in the second quarter after a melee broke out near the Thunder bench when Chicago’s Cameron Payne fouled Terrance Ferguson and, nearly simultaneously, Westbrook and Kris Dunn exchanged pushes.
Eventually the shoving matches spilled into the front row between the bench and the scorer’s table, with Robin Lopez and Jerami Grant locking up.
Eventually, Westbrook and Grant were assessed technical fouls for Oklahoma City, while Dunn and Lopez were whistled for technicals for the Bulls.
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