Durant’s 33 lead Thunder past Bucks
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Kevin Durant scored 33 points and Serge Ibaka had 17 points and 17 rebounds, and the Oklahoma City Thunder snapped a two-game skid by defeating the Milwaukee Bucks 101-85 Saturday night.
Durant missed his first eight shots but made 8 of 10 the rest of the way. Jeremy Lamb added 17 points for the Thunder, who had lost four of six. Oklahoma City scored just 14 points in the first quarter and 38 in the first half before heating up and hitting 63 after the break.
O.J. Mayo and Luke Ridnour scored 16 points apiece and Giannis Antetokounmpo had 13 points and 11 rebounds for the Bucks (7-29), who have the league’s worst record. Oklahoma City had been struggling on defense, but the Thunder held Milwaukee to 40 percent shooting.
With the score tied at 54, Mayo was issued a technical foul for arguing with the officials. Durant made the free throw, then Lamb made a 3-pointer on the following possession. Lamb then made a layup to give the Thunder a 60-54 lead.
Oklahoma City rolled from there. Durant was fouled on a 3-pointer with 0.4 seconds left in the third quarter. He made all three free throws to give the Thunder a 77-62 lead. Durant scored 14 points in the period. It would have been worse had Brandon Knight not found his shooting stroke. Knight, who did not score in the first half, scored 11 of his 13 points in the third quarter. Oklahoma City made just 12 of 42 shots in the first half, but made 13 of 24 in the third period.
Milwaukee didn’t go away. Back-to-back 3s by Mayo cut Oklahoma City’s lead to 81-72 and forced the Thunder to call timeout with 9:20 remaining. The Thunder regrouped and controlled the rest of the game. Durant and Ibaka left with 1:45 remaining and the Thunder leading 99-85.
Derek Fisher hit a 3-pointer, then a baseline fadeaway to give the Thunder a 24-17 lead with 8:10 left in the second quarter. Durant made his first field goal on a dunk with 7:38 left in the first half.
Milwaukee’s Larry Sanders was ejected after elbowing Steven Adams. A few minutes later, Durant took a hard fall after trying to block a shot, and he remained on the floor for a few minutes. He got up and walked to the bench on his own as the crowd’s cheers broke a concerned silence. Moments later, Durant made his first 3-pointer of the game.
Luke Ridnour and Mayo made back-to-back 3-pointers in the closing minutes of the first half to trim Oklahoma City’s lead to three at the break. Durant scored 11 points in the second period.
Notes: Milwaukee went scoreless for the final 5:09 of Friday night’s 81-72 loss to Chicago, then missed its first 10 shots against Oklahoma City. . . . The Thunder allowed 10 points in the first quarter, the fewest in a first quarter since the franchise moved to Oklahoma City in 2008. It also was the fewest the Thunder have allowed in any quarter this season. . . . Thunder coach Scott Brooks said he never addressed Durant or the team about the incident involving Durant’s Twitter account. Durant has said his account was hacked on Thursday and a photo of him smoking a hookah was sent out against his will.