There doesn’t appear to be anyone who can slow the Oklahoma City
Thunder once they get on a roll – not even the NBA’s best defensive
Given the way Kevin Durant has played in Atlanta, the Thunder’s
current tear could continue Tuesday night when they take on the
Following their only defeat over the past 11 games – a 111-104
loss at Portland on Dec. 4 – the Thunder (15-4) recovered by
scoring 227 points and shooting 55.8 percent in back-to-back
On Sunday, they put up the most points allowed by Indiana in
almost two years in an impressive 118-94 home win. Their
season-best 61.0 field-goal percentage was the highest given up by
Indiana since March 15, 2008.
The league-best Pacers lead the NBA in opponent scoring (89.5)
and shooting percentage (40.8), but Durant helped Oklahoma City
break the trend with 36 points, 10 rebounds and five assists.
Russell Westbrook added 26 points and 13 assists.
The star tandem also shot a combined 25 of 40 to help the
Thunder win by double digits for the sixth time during the 10-1
stretch. Durant’s point total was also the most by a single player
against Indiana this season.
“I take everything personal, no matter who I’m playing,” said
Durant, who has 65 points on 25-of-40 shooting over his last two
games. “I’m always grateful for the opportunity to play, so I never
want to take it for granted. … Of course, playing one of the best
teams in the league, you’ve always got to bring it a little bit
more, I guess, and I think we all did that.”
Durant, averaging a league-high 28.9 points, has brought his
best on recent trips to Atlanta. The four-time All-Star has totaled
76 points and 21 rebounds in his last two road games against the
In the most recent meeting Dec. 19, Durant scored 41 points on
14-of-23 shooting to go with 13 rebounds, while Westbrook had 27
points and 11 assists in a 100-92 win.
Though the Hawks have allowed an average of 107.7 points on 52.6
percent shooting during a three-game road skid, they’ve given up
91.0 points and a 41.7 percentage over a three-game home winning
Al Horford led seven players in double figures with 22 points
and nine rebounds, and Paul Millsap added 16 and 14, respectively,
in Friday’s 108-89 victory over Cleveland.
Kyle Korver also set an NBA record by hitting a 3-pointer for a
90th straight game for the Hawks, who have shot 40.4 percent from
long range while reaching 100 points in four consecutive
“It feels good, I’m glad it’s done,” Korver said after finishing
with 10 points and hitting 2 of 3 from beyond the arc. “My naps the
last couple (game days) haven’t been very solid.”
Since averaging 20.6 points in his first eight home games, Jeff
Teague has just 19 combined over his last two. He’ll look to bounce
back after scoring 17.0 per game on 23-of-38 shooting in his last
three against Oklahoma City.
The Thunder, however, have limited their last two opponents to a
combined 189 points on 38.7 percent shooting. They rank in the
league’s top five with a 42.3 defensive field-goal percentage
The Oklahoma City franchise has won 14 of its last 18 in Atlanta
dating to its days as the Seattle SuperSonics.