Kevin Durant isn’t too thrilled about his amazing scoring streak, which is understandable given the way the Oklahoma City Thunder have fared defensively on this road trip.
The superstar’s team could get back on track given its recent domination of its next opponent.
The Thunder look to win their 10th straight over the Sacramento Kings and avoid their first four-game road slide in five seasons Tuesday night.
Durant scored 38 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in a 122-115 loss at Phoenix on Sunday. He scored at least 25 for the 41st game in a row to surpass Michael Jordan, who enjoyed the last longest such streak at 40 games in 1988-89.
Durant’s run is the longest since Oscar Robertson did it for 46 straight in 1963-64.
”I don’t really care about it,” he said. ”I can’t wait until it’s over.”
Oklahoma City (55-21) has missed a chance to pad its one-game lead over the Los Angeles Clippers for the Western Conference’s No. 2 seed, suffering back-to-back defeats to start this four-game trip which ends Wednesday against the Clippers. The Thunder allowed the Suns to shoot 58.4 percent – the second-highest mark yielded by them all season.
"Defensively when we had to get a stop, we didn’t come up to the plate and get that stop," coach Scott Brooks told the Thunder’s official website.
The Thunder, who allowed 61 second-half points in a 111-107 loss to Houston on Friday, last dropped four in a row away from home during an eight-game road slide Jan. 23-Feb. 27, 2009.
It’s uncertain if Russell Westbrook will play Tuesday. The club has kept him out of back-to-back contests and may choose to use him Wednesday against Los Angeles.
Durant has averaged 28.7 points in three wins this season over Sacramento (27-50), which hasn’t beaten Oklahoma City since a 106-101 victory Feb. 9, 2012.
The Kings fell 93-91 at home to Dallas on Sunday, allowing 17 second-chance points and committing 13 turnovers that led to 21 points.
"Good teams don’t beat themselves and that’s the step that we have to take," coach Michael Malone said. "We have to stop beating ourselves and if somebody’s going to come in here and win the game, make them win it, don’t give it to them."
The Kings played their seventh straight game without starting point guard Isaiah Thomas (right quadriceps contusion), who is averaging 20.7 points and 6.4 assists. Rookie Ray McCallum has started in his place, but he’s totaled 12 points on 6-of-26 shooting in his last two games after averaging 17.6 points over his previous five.
Rudy Gay scored 32 points and DeMarcus Cousins added 28 and 10 rebounds for the Kings on Sunday, but neither has played well in two matchups with the Thunder this season.
Gay, averaging 20.2 points, has totaled 13 on 6-of-18 shooting. Cousins is scoring 22.3 per game but has totaled 20 while going 8 of 25 from the field against Oklahoma City.
The Kings are shooting a league-worst 29.5 percent on 3-pointers in their 19 contests since the start of March. The Thunder are allowing opponents to shoot 39.5 percent on 3s in 17 games in that span, the third-worst mark in the NBA.
Oklahoma City is first in rebounding margin at plus-4.1, with Sacramento fourth at plus-3.2.