Russell Westbrook had 21 points and a career-high 17 assists with Kevin Durant on the shelf as the Thunder cruised to an easy 119-94 win over the Denver Nuggets in Oklahoma City Sunday.

Serge Ibaka added 20 points and Enes Kanter also posted 20 points and 12 rebounds for Oklahoma City.

This one was over right from the get-go, as the Nuggets got off to a horrible start shooting the ball. Denver finished the first quarter shooting under 30 percent from the field as the Thunder doubled up on the Nuggets 36-18 by the start of the second. 

The Nuggets started to move the ball a little better and find their stroke in the second, but still gave up 31 points to the Thunder and trailed 67-42 at halftime. From there, all Oklahoma City had to do was cruise to an easy victory in the second half.

The Nuggets only had three players in double-figures, led by point guard Ty Lawson, who came back from a one-game suspension to post 17 points. Danilo Gallinari also added 16 points in just 19 minutes while going 3-6 from three-point land – another encouraging step in the right direction for the forward.

But the Nuggets got almost nothing from forwards Kenneth Faried, who managed just two points in 21 minutes, and Wilson Chandler, who shot 2-11. Faried, Chandler, Darrell Arthur, and J.J. Hickson went a combined 5-25 from the field. The Nuggets once again struggled from behind the arc, outside of Gallinari. Chandler finished 0-4 from deep, and the Nuggets as a team finished just under 26 percent while jacked 27 threes.

The outcome may not be a surprise, but it was interesting to see just how the minutes got distributed Sunday for Denver. Gallinari started at the two, rookie guards Gary Harris and Erick Green combined for 26 minutes, and newcomers Joffrey Lauvergne and Will Barton played 18 and 25 minutes respectively. All 12 players on the active roster logged a least ten minutes. That’s a trend head coach Brian Shaw might employ more as the second half goes on, though it will be difficult to get a good look at Lauvergne and Barton and develop Denver’s rookies at the same time if that trend continues.

The Nuggets will be right back at it Monday at the Pepsi Center. They’ll take on the Brooklyn Nets, with tip-off set for 7 p.m.

Zach Marburger is a staff writer for Mile High Sports. He can be reached via email at [email protected] or on Twitter @BurchBurger.

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