Thunder runs win streak to 12 games
Oklahoma City's biggest stars displayed a unique version of balanced scoring against Atlanta: Russell Westbrook led the Thunder in the first...
ATLANTA — Oklahoma City's biggest stars displayed a unique version of balanced scoring against Atlanta: Russell Westbrook led the Thunder in the first half and Kevin Durant dominated the Hawks over the final two quarters.
Durant set a season high with 41 points and Oklahoma City held off Atlanta 100-92 on Wednesday night for its 12th straight win.
Westbrook had 27 points — 21 in the first half — and 11 assists. Durant scored 28 points in the second half, including 18 in the fourth, and also had 13 rebounds.
No other Oklahoma City player scored in double figures.
"There's going to be nights where one has the hot hand and there's going to be other nights the other does," said Thunder coach Scott Brooks.
Both top scorers were hot against the Hawks. Durant made six of nine shots in the final period, including three three-pointers, and the Hawks couldn't find a way to slow the 6-foot-9 forward.
Jeff Teague led Atlanta with 19 points. Josh Smith had 17 points and 12 rebounds.
Oklahoma City (21-4) improved the NBA's best record and atoned for a 104-95 home loss to the Hawks on Nov. 4. That loss left Oklahoma City 1-2; it is 20-2 since then and hasn't lost since Nov. 23 at Boston.
The 12 straight wins matches the longest streak for the franchise since 1996, when it had a 14-game winning streak as the Seattle SuperSonics.
• Carmelo Anthony scored 31 points in his return to the lineup and the New York Knicks beat the Brooklyn Nets 100-86 in the third meeting this season between the city rivals. After two tight games in Brooklyn, the Knicks turned the first one at Madison Square Garden into a rout by dominating the second half.
• Dirk Nowitzki went through his first full practice with the Dallas Mavericks since undergoing knee surgery that forced the 11-time All-Star to miss every game so far this season. Nowitzki gave no real timetable on when he might make his season debut, except to say "maybe any time after Christmas."
• Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas will join NBA TV as a studio analyst.