|Date of game: 12/19/2012
Recap: Atlanta vs. Oklahoma City
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Kevin Durant poured in a season-high 41 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, as the streaking Oklahoma City Thunder downed Atlanta, 100-92.
"I think the best part about it was that my teammates wanted me to shoot, to take the tougher shots," Durant said about his 41-point game. "That always gives me confidence. I just try to go out there and come through for us."
Russell Westbrook added 27 points with 11 assists, as the two-man show combined for 68 points, 16 rebounds and 14 assists. The Thunder have now won 12 in a row and haven't lost in nearly a month. Their last loss came at Boston, 108-100, on November 23.
Jeff Teague led Atlanta with 19 points and nine assists, while Josh Smith posted a double-double of 17 points and 12 rebounds. Lou Williams and Al Horford each scored 13 in the setback, Atlanta's second in three games.
A back-and-forth first quarter ended with the visitors in front, 23-20, thanks to nine points from Westbrook and a 6-1 surge to close the period. Oklahoma City continued that momentum into the second period, where it built a solid double-digit halftime lead.
The Thunder's lead first reached double digits at 38-27 on Westbrook's fadeaway jumper. The margin reached 55-38 on the last two of four straight free throws from Durant. Kyle Korver's triple capped the scoring, but Oklahoma City still took a 14-point lead into the locker room.
Atlanta chipped away in the third stanza, cutting a 17-point deficit late in the period to seven with a 12-2 stretch to close. Easy baskets from Williams and Zaza Pachulia capped the scoring for a 73-66 game. Oklahoma City made just 33 percent of its shots in the quarter.
"I think we exerted a lot of energy trying to get back in the game," said Smith.
Oklahoma City, sensing it was losing momentum, turned to Durant, who scored 18 of his 41 in the fourth. The Thunder's lead was trimmed to four, but quickly reached 85-75 on Durant's 3-point play with just under six minutes on the clock.
The Hawks got as close as five at 85-80, but again it was Durant who answered. He drained a long 25-footer and two free throws to reclaim the double-digit lead, and Atlanta got no closer than seven the rest of the way.Game Notes
Horford also grabbed six rebounds, dished out three assists and collected
three steals ... Korver finished with nine points, five rebounds, three
assists and four steals in the loss ... Pachulia posted six points and 10
boards ... Serge Ibaka scored only four points, but did grab 14 rebounds to go
along with three blocks ... Atlanta beat Oklahoma City, 104-95, earlier this
season. Oklahoma City turned the ball over 21 times in that game, but cut that
to 16 turnovers on Wednesday ... The Oklahoma City franchise's longest winning
streak was a 14-game run from February 3 - March 5, 1996 when the team was in