Durant lifts Thunder past Wolves
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Kevin Durant scored 32 points to extend his streak of games with at least 25 points to 28 games and Russell Westbrook had a triple-double to lead the surging Oklahoma City Thunder to a 109-107 victory over the Minnesota Timber...
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Kevin Durant scored 32 points to extend his streak of games with at least 25 points to 28 games and Russell Westbrook had a triple-double to lead the surging Oklahoma City Thunder to a 109-107 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday.
Westbrook had 22 points, 10 rebounds and 14 assists and Jeff Green added 17 points and 14 rebounds for the Thunder, who have won nine in a row.
Jonny Flynn and Kevin Love each had 19 points for the Timberwolves, who have dropped five in a row. Corey Brewer and Damien Wilkins added 18 points each.
Oklahoma City's winning streak is the longest current streak in the NBA and the longest for the Thunder franchise since the former Seattle SuperSonics won nine in a row early in the 2004-05 season.
Durant extended his streak with a rare four-point play with 2:17 to play in the fourth quarter, moving him past Allen Iverson's 27-game streak with at least 25 points from Jan. 12-March 9, 2001.
Durant's current streak is the longest since Michael Jordan had 40 straight games of 25 or more points in the 1986-87 season. Durant hasn't been held to less than 25 points since Houston limited him to 13 points on Dec. 19.
No active player in the NBA has had more consecutive games with at least 25 points in their career than Durant's current streak. LeBron James, the NBA's leading scorer, scored at least 25 points in 21 straight games in 2008.
Durant had to work hard to keep the streak alive on Sunday night. He went 8 for 16 from the floor and scored 12 points in the first quarter, but was limited to six points in the second and only two in the third quarter. Durant appeared in danger of not getting it before scoring 10 points in the final 2:20.
Those points were key as Oklahoma City, which led by 17 points in the first half, had to hold off Minnesota in the fourth quarter to secure its fifth consecutive road victory.
The Timberwolves used a 14-0 run bridging the third and fourth quarters to get back in the game. Brewer hit a jumper from the left corner and the Timberwolves led 88-86 with under nine minutes to play.
The Thunder quickly responded with a 3-pointer by Green and dunks by Durant and Nick Collison during an 11-0 run.
Westbrook, who recorded his second career triple-double, gave the Thunder a 105-99 lead with 21.6 seconds to play. Durant made a pair of free throws with 3.4 seconds remaining to clinch the victory.
For the Timberwolves, the biggest surprise of the night was the play of Darko Milicic. The former No. 2 overall draft pick was acquired from the Knicks in a trade last week and played for the first time in more than three months.
He was on the floor when Minnesota played its best basketball and finished with eight points and eight rebounds in a season-high 19 minutes of action.
NOTES: The Timberwolves television broadcast was the team's first-ever without commercials. In addition, fans were able to chat online during the game with team owner Glen Taylor and president of basketball operations David Kahn. ... Before the game, Minnesota recalled big man Nathan Jawai from Sioux Falls in the D-League. The Wolves wanted Jawai to get some extended minutes. ... Oklahoma City's Thabo Sefolosha was in the starting lineup for the Thunder one night after being poked in the eye at New York. ... In a letter to Minnesota fans, Kahn said that the team is launching its "most aggressive fan development program" in which 2010-11 season tickets will be cut up to 50 percent.