Durant's 30 streak ends in Thunder's romp
- Article by: BRIAN MAHONEY
- Associated Press
- January 31, 2014 - 11:00 PM
NEW YORK — Finally, somebody stopped Kevin Durant: his coach.
Not that Durant cared. The only streak he cares about is still intact.
Durant's 30-point run ended at 12 games when he scored 26 in just 30 minutes, but the Oklahoma City Thunder won their 10th in a row with a 120-95 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Friday night.
"That's the most important streak," Durant said.
Serge Ibaka made all 12 shots and added 25 points and nine rebounds for the Thunder, who were so good that Durant sat the entire fourth quarter, the only way to slow him down right now.
Durant came out for good with 1:15 left in the third. Coach Scott Brooks didn't bother asking the NBA's leading scorer if he wanted to keep playing to extend the streak, saying he knew what the answer would be.
"If he cared about the streak, he should've never missed the two shots. That's on him. Can't blame it on me," Brooks said.
Durant finished 10 of 12 from the field, though his scoring average during his sensational January dropped from 36.6 to 35.9. He had been streaking toward Tracy McGrady, who had the last longer streak when he scored 30 in 14 in a row in 2003.
"The streak was good while it lasted, but that's the least of my concerns," Durant said. "It's easy for me to try to force it to keep the streak alive, but we needed this win because they beat us last time."
Reggie Jackson and Thabo Sefolosha scored 14 for the Thunder, on their longest winning streak since a 12-game run early in the 2012-13 season. They dominated the final three quarters in their 112-95 victory at Miami and picked up right where they left off in this one before a sellout crowd of 17,732 that included former President Bill Clinton.
They call this a landslide in his field.
Oklahoma City shot 63.6 percent (49 of 77), highest in the league this season, and outrebounded Brooklyn 41-17. The Nets' rebound total was the lowest in NBA history.
Shaun Livingston scored 16 points while drawing the impossible assignment of defending Durant for the Nets, who dropped their final two games to finish 10-3 in January.
"I mean, man, he's shooting the ball, it's tough," Livingston said. "It's one of those where you've got to tip your hat to him."
Oklahoma City closed the first quarter with the final 13 points, eight from Ibaka and the rest from Durant, for a 30-16 lead. An 11-0 spurt in the second — with just two points from Durant and Ibaka — extended it to 45-24, and one more surge late in the period put it away.
The Nets started the month by holding Durant to 24 points while rallying from 16 down in a 95-93 victory at Oklahoma City, but Brooklyn was never in this game.
"I said it before the game. Everybody is talking about Durant scoring 30 points, but it's the rest of the guys that are playing at a high level," Nets coach Jason Kidd said. "If you look at Ibaka, he's 12 for 12. So again, it goes back to what I said before the game, it's just not all Durant. He has guys on his team that have stepped up and been playing at a high level."
Durant had a jumper and 3-pointer around Jackson's three-point play to extend it to 28, and Durant made a turnaround jumper and another 3-pointer on consecutive possessions late in the half for a 61-30 cushion. Ibaka capped his perfect half with a follow dunk and Oklahoma City led 63-35 at the break.
But Durant got only three shots in the second half, making two on alley-oops, before taking a seat for good to get a little extra rest before returning to his hometown Saturday to face Washington.
The Nets played without versatile forward Andrei Kirilenko, who would've been one of their best hopes of defending Durant, because of strained right calf. Backup center Andray Blatche left in the second half with a bruised left hip.
Deron Williams had 14 points off the bench for the Nets and rookie Mason Plumlee scored 13. Kevin Garnett missed all four shots and was scoreless with one rebound in 12 minutes.
NOTES: The Thunder have won six straight road games. ... The Nets visit Indiana on Saturday, facing both conference leaders in a 24-hour span. ... Marquis Teague, acquired from Chicago on Jan. 21, made his Nets debut in the fourth quarter and scored seven points.
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