Kevin Durant scored 51 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder past the Toronto Raptors 119-118 in double overtime on Friday, despite losing NBA All-Star guard Russell Westbrook to a right knee injury in the third quarter.
Durant hit the go-ahead three-pointer with 1.7 seconds left to cap a furious rally in the second overtime for the Thunder, who won their fourth straight and finished off a 3-0 road trip. Reggie Jackson added 25 and Serge Ibaka had 13.
“That was the craziest game I’ve ever been a part of,” Durant said. “Down eight with [49 seconds] to go, and I missed a free throw late in the game, and we won?”
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Durant has scored 25 or more in 34 straight games, the NBA’s longest streak since Michael Jordan did it in 40 consecutive games in 1986-1987.
DeMar DeRozan scored 33 points, while Amir Johnson had 25 points and 12 rebounds for the Raptors.
Meanwhile, the Philadelphia 76ers lost their 23rd straight game to match the Vancouver Grizzlies (1995-1996), Denver Nuggets (1997-1998) and Charlotte Bobcats (2011-2012) for the second-longest single-season losing streak in NBA history.
Amare Stoudemire had 22 points and 10 rebounds and Carmelo Anthony scored 21 as the New York Knicks beat Philadelphia 93-92 for their eighth straight win.
The Cleveland Cavaliers set the record of 26 consecutive losses in the 2010-2011 season.
The Sixers (15-54) would have to pull off an upset to avoid tying the record, with three straight road games up next at playoff-bound Chicago, San Antonio and Houston. If the Sixers lose all three, the potential record 27th loss could come March 29 versus Detroit.
“I’m never used to losing,” Sixers guard Tony Wroten said. “I speak for the team, too. There’s no such thing as getting used to losing.”
New York are now three games behind the Atlanta Hawks for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Hawks fell to the New Orleans Pelicans 111-105, ending their five-game winning streak.
The San Antonio Spurs extended their win streak to 12 straight games with a 99-79 victory over the Sacramento Kings.
Marco Belinelli scored 13 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter and Kawhi Leonard had 15 points and seven rebounds for the Spurs (52-16), who remained 1.5 games ahead of Oklahoma City and Indiana for the league’s best record.
The winning streak is San Antonio’s longest since rolling off 12 in a row in November 2010.
The Brooklyn Nets took advantage of the Raptors’ loss to pull within 1.5 games of the Atlantic Division leaders with a 114-98 win over the Boston Celtics.
Joe Johnson hit six three-pointers in his 27 points, while Mason Plumlee added 18 points as Brooklyn won their 11th straight at home. The Nets also won for the ninth time in 10 games overall.
The Phoenix Suns pulled within a half-game of the Memphis Grizzlies for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference with a 98-92 win over the Detroit Pistons. Eric Bledsoe scored 15 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter and Goran Dragic added 20 points for the Suns.
Memphis fell to the Miami Heat 91-86. Ray Allen scored 18 points for Miami, who rallied from an 84-77 deficit with 4 minutes, 8 seconds remaining and scored 11 unanswered points.
In other games, the Indiana Pacers topped the Chicago Bulls 91-79, the Dallas Mavericks beat the Denver Nuggets 122-106 and the Washington Wizards defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 117-107 in Steve Nash’s return from injury.
Nash, who has missed all but 11 games this season with chronic nerve damage in his back, had 11 assists and five points in 19 minutes.
Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer is buying the Forum for US$400 million, ending the billionaire’s legal fight with Madison Square Garden Co (MSG) and clearing the way to build a new arena for his NBA team down the street in Inglewood, California. Ballmer on Tuesday announced his cash purchase of the venerated arena. Ballmer, a former Microsoft executive, and Clippers vice chairman Dennis Wong are making the transaction through CAPSS LLC, a newly formed entity that would continue to operate the Forum as a live music venue. “This is an unprecedented time, but we believe in our collective future,” Ballmer said.
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Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert, whose positive COVID-19 test prompted the NBA to shut down its season, says that the coronavirus has caused him to lose his sense of smell. The Frenchman, whose defensive talents have earned him the nickname “Stifle Tower,” tested positive for COVID-19 on March 11, the result bringing the NBA season to an abrupt halt. In social media posts since then, the 27-year-old had said he was feeling better, but on Sunday he tweeted that he was experiencing one of the lesser-known symptoms of the illness. “Just to give you guys an update, loss of smell and taste is