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
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
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
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.