Latest Updates

Durant drives Thunder past Hawks for third win in row

Wednesday, February 3, 2010 , Posted by dAVe at 7:12 AM

Oklahoma City Thunder logo

NBA All-Stars Joe Johnson of Atlanta and Kevin Durant of Oklahoma City put on an All-Star caliber show for the fans inside a rocking Ford Center, but it was Thunder forward Jeff Green who capped the night for the home team.

Durant, who scored 33 points, found Green alone in the corner, rifled him a pass and Green tossed in a dagger from 23 feet with 1:42 left in the game to lead the Thunder to a 106-99 win over the Hawks.

The big 3-pointer seemed to take the life out of what had been a valliant comeback by Atlanta.

"I saw Jeff was open for a split second," Durant said, "so I threw it to him and I knew he was gonna hit it."

Green did not disappoint, finishing with 19 points inclduing 3-for-4 on 3-pointers.

Durant picked up another double-double by grabbing 11 rebounds to go along with his 33 points. Durant has now scored 25 or more in 22 straight games, the longest streak in the NBA since Allen Iverson put together a string of 27 straight in the 2000-01 season.

Hawks coach Mike Woodson was more than impressed and he didn't have to hear the chants of M-V-P coming from the Ford Center crowd to know what he was seeing.

"He's very unique," Woodson said. "I look at him now and he's playing like an MVP candidate in this league. He scores very, very easy. That's hard to do in this league. Only the great ones can do that."

Durant has now scored 30 or more points in 28 games, the most of anyone in the NBA.

"This is a good win to end the homestand on. We beat one of the best teams in the league," said Thunder coach Scott Brooks.

"You have to give them credit because defensively they got after us," Woodson said. "We made a game of it in the fourth by getting back in it."

Johnson put his team on his back in the second half, scoring 23 points to finish with a game-high 37. The Hawks went on a 25-12 run from late in the third quarter to the middle of the fourth, tying the game at 89.

"We gave up a couple of transition 3s and that's just unacceptable," Brooks said.

But from that point on Oklahoma City buckled down on defense and made stops and then made shots at the other end of the floor.

"We shot ourselves out of it by taking bad shots coming down the stretch," Woodson said.

OKC point guard Russell Westbrook took over the game during that time, making several key plays on offense and defense.

"I thought Russell's execution in the fourth quarter was as good as it gets," Brooks said. "He made a lot of great decisions and was aggressive at both ends."

Westbrook just missed a triple-double, scoring 12 points, dishing out nine assists and grabbing nine rebounds.

The first half was a back-and-forth battle where both teams struggled to hit baskets. Neither managed to make 40 percent of their shots with Oklahoma City (27-21) shooting only 37.1 percent and Atlanta (30-17) not much better at 39 percent.

The Thunder came in with the fourth-ranked field goal shooting defense in the NBA, limiting teams to 43.7 percent. Rebounds were almost even with OKC leading 23-22.

The Hawks had a sizeable advantage in a couple of areas at the break, leading in points in the paint, 24-16 and in second chance points, 12-6.

Durant led all scorers at halftime with 20 points, while none of his teammates were in double figures.

Johnson led the Hawks with 14 while Josh Smith added 11 through the first half.

Johnson tried to take over the game in the third quarter when he scored 14 points on 6-for-7 shooting to rally his team from a 13-point deficit to just seven, 79-72 at the end of the third.

Johnson's 37 points on 13-for-20 shooting led all scorers, Josh Smith added 15 for the Hawks and Al Horford contributed 14.

Oklahoma City had a big advantage on the boards, outrebounding Atlanta 45-35, the Thunder pulling down 17 offensive rebounds.

Atlanta lost both games to the Thunder this season but has still won nine of their last 13.

Oklahoma City is now on a three-game winning streak and the Thunder have now won six of their last nine as they head into a three-game road swing before the All-Star break.


By Randy Renner, for
Posted Wednesday February 3, 2010 12:10AM

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Currently have 1 comments:

  1. razi says:


    nice info..

Leave a Reply

Post a Comment