(AP) The Oklahoma City Thunder won their fifth straight game by beating the New Orleans Pelicans Monday night 122-116, but they lost star point guard Russell Westbrook to a sprained left ankle.
After coming down hard on the side of his foot, Westbrook pounded the ground in frustration before limping off the court. The Thunder led 84-77 when he exited with 4:25 left in the third quarter.
Oklahoma City went on a run without him and led 100-86 at the end of the period.
The Pelicans closed within a point in the final minute, but Dennis Schroder made two free throws with 20.5 seconds left and Paul George made a pair with 11.8 seconds to play to clinch the win for the Thunder.
George scored 23 points, and Schroder had 22. Westbrook finished with 17 points, nine assists and seven rebounds.
Julius Randle scored 28 points and made all 10 of his shots for the Pelicans. Anthony Davis had 20 points on 7-of-20 shooting. It was the sixth straight loss for New Orleans after opening the season with four wins.
Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry says they are making things too difficult for themselves. "We're putting ourselves in a position where we have to have a perfect storm to win. We dig in, we make our run and we come back, but we're never ahead. So in order for us to be ahead, it has to be the perfect storm and that usually doesn't happen."
The Pelicans return to the Smoothie King Center Wednesday night to welcome the Chicago Bulls.
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