OKLAHOMA CITY (WWJ/AP) – The Pistons desperately looking for defense as they lose to the Oklahoma City Thunder 104-94 Friday night.

Richard Hamilton had his second straight 20-point game for Detroit, Rodney Stuckey scored 16 and Greg Monroe added 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant scored 24 points, James Harden kept his late-season surge going with 22 points for the Thunder.

Russell Westbrook added 13 points and 11 assists for Oklahoma City, which pulled ahead to stay just before halftime then held off a charge by the Pistons.

 Detroit was within four before Westbrook beat the shot clock buzzer with a 3-pointer from the left wing, and Nick Collison bailed out the Thunder again just a handful of possessions later by scooping up a loose ball and banking it in just before the 24 seconds ran out to make it 72-65.

 That started a span when Oklahoma City hit its final six shots of the period – including back-to-back 3-pointers by Harden and another from Thabo Sefolosha that bounced high off the rim before falling through.

The Thunder then scored the first seven points of the fourth quarter and took a 93-75 lead on Harden’s fourth 3-pointer of the game.

Detroit stayed close enough to make Durant and Westbrook come back into the game with 5{ minutes left, then scored nine straight points to get within 100-94 on Stuckey’s three-point play with 47.1 seconds to play.

Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince even missed 3-pointer during the comeback that could’ve made it closer.

Instead, the Pistons were forced to foul in the final minute. Westbrook hit two free throws, then missed two before Serge Ibaka tipped in his errant shot to make it 104-94.

Westbrook became the fifth player in NBA history to reach 4,000 points, 1,500 assists and 1,000 rebounds during his first three years in the league. The others are Chris Paul, LeBron James, Anfernee Hardaway and Oscar Robertson.

(Copyright 2011 WWJ Newsradio 950. All Rights Reserved.) (Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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