National Basketball Association (NBA) scoring leader Kevin Durant netted 36 points and Reggie Jackson added 13 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter on Wednesday as Oklahoma City beat San Antonio 111-105.
The victory, Oklahoma City’s fifth in a row, lifted the Thunder to the best record in the Western Conference at 33-10, moving past the hosts Spurs, who fell to 32-10 and 0-3 against the Thunder this season.
“We’re just trying to get better in every game we play,” Durant said. “We’re trying to play hard every time we step on the court. We got stops when we needed to. We got a good win.”
Durant added seven rebounds and five assists for the Thunder, in addition to topping 30 points for his ninth game in a row.
Jackson scored 11 consecutive Oklahoma City points at one stretch in the fourth quarter to help the visitors seize a 94-89 lead.
Durant, who missed four of his first five shots in the fourth quarter, sank an alley-oop layup followed by a three-pointer, while Spain’s Serge Ibaka followed with a steal and slam dunk to give Oklahoma City a 105-96 edge.
Frenchman Tony Parker sank two baskets and Argentina’s Manu Ginobili hit a three-pointer to pull the Spurs within 108-103. However, San Antonio came no closer.
Ibaka scored 14 points and grabbed nine rebounds for the Thunder.
Parker led the Spurs with 37 points, while Tim Duncan and French reserve Boris Diaw added 14 points each, Italy’s Marco Belinelli added 13 and Ginobili had 10. Duncan grabbed 13 rebounds.
BULLS 98, CAVALIERS 87
In Cleveland, Ohio, D.J. Augustin scored 27 points in a start for Kirk Hinrich, while Taj Gibson matched a career high with 26 filling in for Carlos Boozer, as the Chicago Bulls improved to 7-2 since trading Luol Deng with a 98-87 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night.
Augustin and Mike Dunleavy hit three-pointers down the stretch to pace the Bulls, who at 21-20 moved over .500 for the first time since Nov. 22 last year.
Deng went just two of 11 from the field in his first game against Chicago. The Bulls dealt the two-time All-Star forward to Cleveland on Jan. 6 for future draft picks.
Kyrie Irving scored 26 to lead Cleveland, who have dropped the first two games of a five-game home stand.
SUNS 124, PACERS 100
In Phoenix, Arizona, Gerald Green scored 23 points against his former team, leading six Phoenix players in double figures, and the Suns snapped Indiana’s five-game winning streak by handing the Pacers their most one-sided loss of the season.
Indiana, owner of the NBA’s best record (33-8) and the league leader in scoring defense and field goal percentage defense, gave up the most points they have all season.
Goran Dragic scored 21, Markieff Morris 20, P.J. Tucker 13, Miles Plumlee 11 and Channing Frye 10 for the Suns.
Paul George scored 26, George Hill 16 and David West 13 for Indiana.
HAWKS 112, MAGIC 109
In Orlando, Florida, Paul Millsap had 24 points, Jeff Teague added 23 and the Hawks hung on to beat the Magic.
Atlanta opened a 19-point lead in the third quarter, but lost it in the fourth before coming back to hit six free-throws in the final 40 seconds for the win.
Victor Oladipo led Orlando with 24 points. Tobias Harris had 19 points and 12 rebounds, and Jameer Nelson finished with 17 points.
The Magic have lost 12 of 13, and fell to 1-14 this season without starting center Nik Vucevic, who continues to recover from a concussion.