Durant extends 30-point streak

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.