Roy Hibbert topped 20 points for the third straight game. (Photo: Jessica Hoffman/Pacers)

Roy Hibbert topped 20 points for the third straight game. (Photo: Jessica Hoffman/Pacers)

Indianapolis (TSN) – The Oklahoma City Thunder were more physical than the NBA’s top rebounding team on Friday and are back on top in the Western Conference.

Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook combined for 58 points in the Thunder’s 97-75 rout of the Indiana Pacers.

Durant netted 32 of his 34 points over the final three quarters, while Westbrook added 24 points and nine assists for the Thunder, who are tied atop the conference with the Spurs, but hold the tiebreaker. OKC downed San Antonio 100-88 on Thursday.

The Thunder dominated the glass and held a 53-31 rebounding margin against the Pacers.

“We wanted to come out aggressive and we wanted to do a good job of executing,” said Durant. “This was a big win for us, coming in for a tough back-to-back is always difficult, especially when it’s home and away. We played a tough team last night, and these guys were playing well, so we wanted to come out and play hard for 48 minutes. We wanted to get the 50-50 balls, we made a conscious effort of doing that.”

Roy Hibbert tallied 22 points and eight boards for Indiana, which failed in its attempt to clinch its first Central Division title in nine years.

“Westbrook and Durant, if you’re not exceptional on the ball against those guys they’ll burn you and they burned us tonight,” said Pacers Coach Frank Vogel. “It just seemed we were a step slow to every loose ball. Kevin Durant is ridiculous. Just an elite, elite scorer.”

The Pacers, who had their five-game winning streak snapped, are 1 1/2 games behind the New York Knicks for the second seed in the East.

OKC led 44-43 at the break, but began the third on an 11-4 run. Serge Ibaka made two free throws and converted a layup to cap the surge and make it 55-47 with 8:36 left in the quarter.

The Thunder took a 72-67 edge into the fourth, but scored the stanza’s first nine points to jump out to a 14-point bulge. Durant netted the first six points of the swing before Kevin Martin capped it with a triple to make it 81-67 with 8:47 left.

OKC cruised the rest of the way as Indiana shot just 2-of-18 in the final frame.

Westbrook had 12 first-quarter points as the Thunder took a 26-23 advantage into the second.

Game Notes

Durant was 13-of-21 from the field, while Westbrook finished 10-of-24 from the floor … OKC outscored Indiana, 25-8, in the fourth … OKC held a 21-7 edge in second-chance points.


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