Oklahoma City Thunder’s forward Kevin Durant (right) drives the basket against Atlanta Hawks’ point guard Dennis Schroder during the fourth quarter of their NBA game at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City yesterday.
OKLAHOMA CITY: Kevin Durant scored 30 points or more for the 11th consecutive game as Oklahoma City Thunder rallied to beat the Atlanta Hawks 111-109 in the National Basketball Association match yesterday.
Durant finished with 41 points, hitting the go-ahead jumper with 1.5 seconds left for the Thunder who were down by eight points at the end of the third quarter in front of a crowd of 18,203 at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Durant was 15-of-25 from the floor and five-of-seven from three point range for Oklahoma City, who won their eighth straight game.
“There’s nothing more to say,” Thunder head coach Scott Brooks said of Durant, who entered the game as the league’s leading scorer at 31.1 points per game.
“He’s a special player. He’s going to be an MVP candidate until he decides to retire. He’s an amazing teammate, which I’m as proud of that, as he is as a player.
“He cares about the game. He cares about his team. He cares about Oklahoma City. He’s just a great ambassador, not only to our team but the league and to the basketball world.”
Durant took a step back and scored over DeMarre Carroll with 25 seconds left in the fourth to give Oklahoma City their first lead since the opening minutes of the game. His jumper made it 109-107.
Hawks Paul Millsap scored the game-tying layup at the other end with 22 seconds to go.
Durant took a feed from Reggie Jackson near the top of the arc with about seven seconds left and quickly got a step on Carroll with the right-handed dribble.
Durant put on the brakes and drained another jump shot before a pair of Hawks players were able to cover him.
“I couldn’t ask for a better executed play,” Brooks said.
Atlanta then failed to get a final shot off as they tried to get the ball to Millsap.
Millsap led seven double-digit scorers with 23 points for the Hawks who lost their third consecutive game.
Mike Scott (16), Shelvin Mack (15), Carroll (15), Kyle Korver (14), Lou Williams (10) and Dennis Schroder (10) were the others. Gustavo Ayon had 10 rebounds. Korver extended his NBA-record streak to 113 games with a three-pointer.AFP