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That gave starting center Kendrick Perkins time - but apparently not enough - to rest a strained muscle in his right hip after he hurt it in the final game of the Dallas series. He limped out of the game after dunking just after halftime and did not return.

The possibility of rust had been a concern for Brooks, and he fought it by alternating light days with demanding, training-camp style practices.

“There’s no question we have a team full of gym rats. They want to play basketball,” Brooks said. “That’s all they want to do: They want to play basketball.”

All that pent-up energy came flowing out just after halftime.

Durant lobbed the ball to Westbrook for a two-handed slam, then connected on a 3-pointer from the left wing to draw a timeout from Brown.

That still didn’t slow Oklahoma City, which got what could have been a costly two-handed dunk from Perkins on its next trip and then another 3 from Durant before Thabo Sefolosha swiped the ball from Bryant and ran for a layup that made it 74-46 with 8:39 left in the period.

“From then on, it was cruising for us,” said Westbrook.