Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder overpowered the injury-hit Los Angeles Lakers in a 116-101 victory on Friday, inflicting a rare sixth straight defeat on the home team.
Durant scored a season-high 42 points and guard Russell Westbrook weighed in with 27 and 10 assists as the Thunder drew level with the Los Angeles Clippers at the top of the Western Conference.
With bench player Kevin Martin adding 15 points on six-of-12 shooting, Oklahoma outshot Los Angeles by 51 percent to 40 from the field at a sellout Staples Center while improving their record this season to 28-8.
Kobe Bryant led the way with 28 points for the Lakers, who slipped to 15-21 after playing their third consecutive game without injured big men Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol.
Howard, a three-time defensive player of the year, is out after re-aggravating a right shoulder injury while fellow All-Star Gasol is sidelined due to concussion.
With Durant swiftly setting the tone, Oklahoma raced to an early 25-14, but Los Angeles closed the opening quarter on an unanswered 11-point run to tie the score at 25-25.
The Lakers twice took narrow leads but the Thunder relentlessly seized control and, with Durant and Martin each burying two three-pointers, stormed ahead 64-48 by halftime.
Durant continued to put on a show in the third quarter, draining a mix of three-pointers, jump shots and one extravagant slum dunk as Oklahoma stretched their lead to 93-73.
Though Durant slowed in the final quarter, Westbrook caught fire and added a further 10 points to keep the Lakers at bay.