Durant extends 30-point streak
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP)
Kevin Durant scored 31 points to tie a franchise record for consecutive 30-point games, Nick Collison hit the tying and go-ahead free throws 4.5 seconds left, and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Utah Jazz 87-86 on Thursday night.
Collison came away with the ball after Durant missed a jumper from the right wing, and was fouled by Paul Millsap in the process.
After hitting only one of his previous four foul shots, Collison made both to give the Thunder their first five-game winning streak in more than four years.
Ronnie Price missed a 3-pointer from the right side at the final buzzer for Utah, which got a final surge from Deron Williams to pull ahead before Collison's game-winning free throws.
Carlos Boozer scored 17 points, and Mehmet Okur had 11 points and 11 rebounds for the Jazz. Williams scored 10 of his 14 points in the final 5 minutes, including a three-point play with 58 seconds left that gave Utah the lead.
Durant surpassed 30 points for the sixth straight game, tying a franchise record set by Spencer Haywood in January 1972. He and Jeff Green ran together for a mid-air chest bump after Price's shot caromed off the rim, and white, red, yellow and blue balloons dropped from the rafters.
The win gave the Thunder the same 18-14 record as Utah, one year after a New Year's Eve win against Golden State was only their fourth of the season.
Williams had been practically silent all night before he scored the final 10 points for the Jazz, including getting fouled on a driving jumper in the final minute. He had a season-low three assists.
Green added 12 points but a season-high six turnovers, Collison scored 11 and Russell Westbrook had eight points and 10 assists for Oklahoma City. The Thunder franchise, which moved from Seattle to Oklahoma City prior to last season, hadn't won five in a row since March 18-25, 2005.
The Thunder had their largest lead at 70-62 after Eric Maynor stripped the ball from Okur and raced down the floor for a fast-break layup early in the fourth quarter. The Jazz charged right back with a 10-2 spurt that featured three baskets by Wesley Matthews, including the tying fast-break layup with 8:16 remaining.
Williams scored five straight points to give Utah its first lead of the second half at 81-78. Durant answered with a 3-pointer to tie it with 3:12 to play, then Westbrook had a two-handed dunk to put Oklahoma City on top.
Oklahoma City surged ahead for the last of seven lead changes in the first half, scoring seven straight points to go up 43-39 after Westbrook set up Durant and Collison for two-handed jams on back-to-back possessions. The Thunder led by as many as five after a second Westbrook-to-Durant alley-oop before the Jazz got back within 48-46 at halftime.
Utah pulled even again at 54 after Williams' jumper from the right elbow midway through the third quarter, but Durant had an assist on Nenad Krstic's dunk and then converted a three-point play to put Oklahoma City back in front.
NOTES: Nine days after being traded from the Jazz to the Thunder in a salary-dumping move by Utah, Maynor had four points and six assists - his most since joining his new team. ... The Thunder committed 20 turnovers, ending a string of eight straight games with 14 or fewer. ... Williams is 14 assists shy of 3,000 for his career. ... The Oklahoma City franchise's last winning streak of more than five games came in November 2004, when Seattle won nine in a row after losing its season opener.