Kevin Durant scores 46 points in Oklahoma City victory
Kevin Durant scored 11 of his 46 points in the final 3:23 to help the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the visiting Portland Trail Blazers 105-97. Each team was 31-10 entering the game.
The Associated Press
OKLAHOMA CITY – The Portland Trail Blazers braced themselves for a late onslaught from Kevin Durant. They still failed to stop him.
The 6-foot-9 forward scored 11 of his 46 points in the final 3:23 to help the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Trail Blazers 105-97 on Tuesday night.
“When the basket is an ocean, you can’t really do much about it,” Portland guard Wesley Matthews said. “He’s been on a roll.”
Durant has scored at least 30 points for eight consecutive games, the longest such streak of his career. He made 17 of 25 field goals, including 6 of 7 three-pointers.
“He did what he’s been doing the last two weeks,” Portland guard Damian Lillard said.
Reggie Jackson added 15 points for Oklahoma City (32-10), which took a one-game lead over Portland in the Northwest Division. Oklahoma City improved to 9-5 since point guard Russell Westbrook was taken out of the lineup after having surgery on his right knee.
Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge had 29 points and 16 rebounds, but he went 1 for 8 from the field in the fourth quarter. Durant said Aldridge’s late struggles might have been a combination of good defense by Kendrick Perkins and Serge Ibaka and the Trail Blazers being worn out from their loss to Houston the night before.
“Perk and Serge did a great job early on contesting LaMarcus’ jump shot, but he’s a great player and he was knocking them down,” ex-Sonic Durant said. “In the fourth quarter, of course, after playing last night, he’s a little tired.”
Matthews added 21 points for Portland (31-11), which lost its last two games of a four-game trip.
“We’re not happy,” Matthews said. “Last year, we were happy coming off a road trip at .500. We’re not that team any more. We didn’t come out with the right energy and the right mentality against Houston and they were ready for us. We came out with the right mentality early in this game and KD had a hell of a fourth quarter, so it’s bitter.”
Portland led 93-90 when Durant was called for an offensive foul.
Durant was unhappy after the call and, after Perkins was called for a foul, Durant, still frustrated, hit the scorer’s table and was issued a technical foul. Portland made two of the three free throws to go up by five points.
A fired-up Durant responded with a layup, then a three-pointer to tie the score with 2:52 remaining.
“It was really a stupid, stupid reaction by me,” Durant said. “I could have hurt my team really badly.”
• LeBron James scored 11 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter, Chris Bosh added 16 and the Miami Heat blew an 18-point lead before rallying to beat visiting Boston 93-86.
Celtics guard Avery Bradley, a former Bellarmine Prep of Tacoma player, sprained his right ankle in the second quarter.
• Andray Blatche came off the bench and had a team-high 18 points as host Brooklyn beat Orlando 101-90 to improve to a league-best 8-1 in January.
Joe Johnson and Paul Pierce each had 13 points for the Nets.
• Rudy Gay tied a career high with 41 points and the Sacramento Kings cruised to a 114-97 victory over host New Orleans. Gay made 16 of 25 shots.
Isaiah Thomas, a former Washington Huskies guard, had 20 points and 11 assists for the Kings, who have won five of their last eight.
• Kevin Love contributed 19 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists to help the Minnesota Timberwolves beat host Utah 112-97.
• Denver forward Danilo Gallinari has had a major setback in his return from left-knee surgery, requiring a second operation that will sideline him for the remainder of the season.
Gallinari hasn’t played since blowing out his left knee in a game against Dallas on April 4.
• James, several teammates and Heat coach Erik Spoelstra appear in a video with first lady Michelle Obama that promotes fitness and healthy eating, part of her “Let’s Move” initiative.
The Heat group breaks into laughter when the first lady dunks on a toy hoop.
“She was amazing,” James said.