Fri, Dec 21, 2012 - Page 19 News List

NBA: Oklahoma City Thunder make it 12 wins in a row

AP, ATLANTA, GEORGIA

Louis Williams of the Atlanta Hawks, left, lays in a basket against the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook, second left, and Serge Ibaka, center, at the Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia, on Wednesday.

Photo: AFP

The Oklahoma City Thunder made it a dozen successive NBA wins with a 100-92 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday, led by Kevin Durant’s season-high 41 points and 13 rebounds.

The Los Angeles Clippers are just behind the Thunder in their own winning streak, notching an 11th straight victory, while New York and Memphis were the other leading teams to win.

However, Golden State’s surprising form surge ended in an unlikely locale, putting in a lax defensive performance and suffering an embarrasing defeat at the hands of the lowly Sacramento Kings.

Russell Westbrook scored 27 points — 21 in the first half — and had 11 assists for the Thunder, who matched the longest winning streak for the franchise since the then-Seattle SuperSonics won 14 straight in 1996.

Oklahoma City (21-4) improved the NBA’s best record and atoned for a home loss to the Hawks on Nov. 4.

Jeff Teague scored 19 points to lead Atlanta, who slipped 1.5 games behind Miami in the Southeast Division.

The New York Knicks won their first home game against their relocated city rivals, beating the Brooklyn Nets 100-86 to open a six-game gap atop the Atlantic Division as the Nets form falls away.

Carmelo Anthony scored 31 points in his return from an ankle injury, while J.R. Smith had 19 points for the Knicks, who had two tight tussles on Brooklyn’s home court earlier in the season, but dominated this one.

Joe Johnson scored 17 points for the Nets.

The Southwest Division-leading Memphis Grizzlies won a third straight, beating the misfiring Milwaukee Bucks 90-80.

Zach Randolph had 15 points and 17 rebounds, and Marc Gasol had 12 points and 12 rebounds for Memphis.

Brandon Jennings clearly led Milwaukee with 26 points, while leading scorer Monta Ellis missed his first 13 shots and finished with only four.

The Indiana Pacers matched their biggest victory margin of the season with a 104-84 win over the Utah Jazz. Indiana have reached three figures only four times this season and have won them all.

Reserve guard Gerald Green scored a season-high 21 points, and Paul George had 20 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks for the Pacers.

Derrick Favors scored 16 points 11 for the Jazz.

Sacramento won their first game in six with a 131-127 victory over Golden State, who slipped 2.5 games off the lead in the Pacific Division.

DeMarcus Cousins scored 24 points and Aaron Brooks added 23 for the Kings, who led the game by 15 points before the Warriors tied the scores.

A pair of late three-pointers by Brooks saw the Kings pull away and post the highest score of any team against the Warriors this season.

Golden State’s Stephen Curry scored 23 of his 32 points in the second half before fouling out.

The Los Angeles Clippers stretched their lead in the Pacific and notched their 11th straight win with a 93-77 victory over the New Orleans Hornets.

Blake Griffin scored 18 points, while Jamal Crawford added 17 points for the Clippers, who matched the franchise’s longest winning streak, previously set in 1974-1975 as the Buffalo Braves.

Robin Lopez scored 14 of his 22 points in the first quarter for the Hornets, who were the last team to beat the Clippers, but suffered their ninth loss in a row.

Boston’s Paul Pierce scored 25 of his season-high 40 points in the second half, hitting 10 of his 11 shots after halftime, as the Celtics beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 103-91.

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