Thunder 119, Pistons 110
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Forward Kevin Durant, the NBA's leading scorer, poured in 37 points and added eight rebounds and seven assists as the Oklahoma City Thunder topped the Detroit Pistons for the ninth consecutive time, 119-110, on Friday night at The Palace.
Guard Russell Westbrook had 20 points despite 5-of-19 shooting and rookie center Steven Adams supplied 17 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks for the Thunder (4-1).
Forward Josh Smith scored a season-high 25 points with eight rebounds for the Pistons (2-3) before fouling out with 3:28 left. Point guard Brandon Jennings contributed 22 points and 11 assists and power forward Greg Monroe also had a double-double with 20 points and 15 rebounds.
Detroit coach Mo Cheeks, an assistant under OKC's Scott Brooks the past four seasons, saw his former team take control in the latter stages of the third quarter.
Smith scored 10 third-quarter points but sat out the last 6:21 after picking up his fourth foul. Durant took advantage of his absence, scoring 10 points the rest of the quarter.
When he came off a screen and buried a 3-pointer, the Thunder took a 75-74 lead that would not be relinquished. In the closing seconds, Durant found guard Jeremy Lamb for a 3-pointer to give Oklahoma City an 84-76 advantage.
Adams split defenders in the first minute of the fourth, bumping the Thunder's lead to double digits, 88-78. The Pistons couldn't get closer than four points the rest of the way.
Durant scored 16 first-half points as OKC led 55-51 at halftime. He gave the visitors their biggest lead of the half with a 3-pointer from the right side, finishing off a 9-1 spurt that made it 48-37.
The Pistons clawed back behind Monroe, who converted two consecutive putbacks en route to 13 points. Detroit was hindered by poor free throw shooting, as it missed half of its 12 first-half attempts.
NOTES: Detroit's last victory over Oklahoma City was a 90-88 decision Dec. 26, 2008. ... The Pistons head to the West Coast for their next four games, while the Thunder play three of the next four on the road. ... Detroit F/C Greg Monroe had an Eastern Conference-best 70 double-doubles since 2011-12. ... The Thunder forced a league-best 21 turnovers in the first four games. ... Pistons F Charlie Villanueva, who hasn't played this season, was inactive because of a sore left shoulder. ... Detroit coach Mo Cheeks classifies Oklahoma City F Kevin Durant and G Russell Westbrook as superstars, a distinction he doesn't take lightly. "Russell and KD are great for a reason," Cheeks said. "You go in with a game plan of slowing them down. I don't think you're going to stop them. That's why there are so few great players in the game. To be great, you have to do it every night and those guys do it every night."