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George helps Thunder top lacklustre Lakers

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Dec 5, 2018; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George (13) shoots against Brooklyn Nets forward Joe Harris (12) and guard Allen Crabbe (33) during the second half at Barclays Center. Reuters/Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Paul George scored 37 points to lead the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder to a 107-100 win against the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday.

George, who picked up three fouls in the first 3:12 of the first quarter, scored 20 points in the second half.

Russell Westbrook finished with 14 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists for his NBA-leading 11th triple-double, but he shot 3-for-20 from the floor. Westbrook, who shot 38.6 percent in December, missed his first seven field-goal attempts.

Steven Adams had 14 points and 15 rebounds, eight on the offensive end, and Jerami Grant scored 13 for the Thunder, who have won three of four.

Lakers reserve Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who came in averaging 9.8 points, scored 18 of his 25 points in the first half. He scored a season-high 26 in a 121-114 win on Sunday against the Sacramento Kings.

Caldwell-Pope started the second half after Lakers second-leading scorer Kyle Kuzma (18.7 points per game) sustained a lower-back contusion in the second quarter. Kuzma did not return.

The Lakers were already playing their fourth game without LeBron James, who leads the team in scoring, rebounding and assists. James sustained a groin injury in a Christmas night game against the Golden State Warriors.

Los Angeles’ Brandon Ingram had 17 points and a season-high 11 rebounds. JaVale McGee scored 15 points, and Josh Hart had 13 points and a career-high 15 rebounds for the Lakers, who have dropped three of four.

The Lakers led by four to start the fourth quarter, but an 11-0 run sparked by the Thunder reserves and a 6:21 stretch without a field goal by Los Angeles helped Oklahoma City take its biggest lead to that point, 91-85, with 6:31 remaining.

The Lakers got as close as two with 4:36 left but could not pull any closer as the Thunder followed with a 12-3 run.

Neither team led by more than six points through the first three quarters.

The Thunder missed their final nine field-goal attempts of the third quarter to allow the Lakers to take a 82-78 lead into the fourth.

The next seven opponents for Lakers, starting with a visit from the New York Knicks on Friday, have a record of under .500. The Thunder play at Portland tonight.

Elsewhere, Boston’s Gordon Hayward scored a season-high 35 points, and Terry Rozier got the start for an injured Kyrie Irving and scored 16 points on Wednesday to lead the Celtics to a 115-102 home win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Irving sustained a right eye injury in a loss to San Antonio on New Year’s Eve, and his status remains day-to-day.

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