Russell Westbrook recorded the sixth triple-double of his young career as the Thunder overcame the Bucks 109-99 Saturday night in Milwaukee.
Westbrook scored 23 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and dished out 10 assists while Kevin Durant added 30 points and eight boards.
Oklahoma City led this back-and-forth contest 56-46 at halftime, but the Bucks poured in 37 points in the third quarter to tie the game heading to the fourth. Milwaukee quickly used a 7-0 run early in the fourth to pull ahead 92-87, but that's when the Thunder made it's stand.
Following a full timeout at the 8:38 mark, OKC exploded on a 12-0 run in a little more than eight minutes to seize control with a 99-92 lead. Nick Collison scored three buckets during the burst while Durant added four points.
The run forced Milwaukee into a timeout and OKC cruised to the finish line. Collison finished with 10 points on 5-6 shooting and grabbed six boards.
The Thunder (54-20) shot 53.3 percent from the floor and held the Bucks (35-37) to just 37.8 percent.
Milwaukee was led by Ersan Ilyasova's 29 points and 14 rebounds. Ekpe Udoh added 14 points and 11 rebounds off the Bucks' bench, but the real story was the poor play of Milwaukee's star guards. Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis combined to shoot just 6-30 for 17 total points. That's about 22 combined points shy of their average.
Milwaukee kept the game tight with its 3-point efficiency, outshooting the Thunder by a large margin from deep. The Bucks drained 12 of their 29 3-point attempts, while OKC managed just 4-16 from downtown.
Serge Ibaka's strong play on the inside helped the Thunder make up for its lack of long-range shooting. Ibaka scored 16 points on 7-8 shooting, blocked eight shots and grabbed seven boards. Kevin Martin also contributed nicely, scoring 17 off OKC's bench.
The win improves Oklahoma City to 8-0 against Eastern-Conference opponents since All-Star Weekend. The Thunder was just 12-7 against the East prior to the break. It also pulls OKC back within two games of the idle Spurs, while the Bucks appear locked into the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.