Originally Published: Jan 31, 2010 8:57 PM CDT
Oklahoma Sports Staff & AP Wire Reports
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Kevin Durant scored a season-high 45 points to take over second place in the NBA scoring race, Russell Westbrook added 28 points and eight assists, and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Golden State Warriors 112-104 on Sunday night.
"You couldn't ask for a better offensive performance [from Kevin Durant]," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. "Defensive he was good he grabbed 11 rebounds. I thought Russell did a good job of finding him."
Golden State rallied back from 14 down in the fourth quarter to get within three in the final 2 minutes before Durant and Westbrook finally closed the door with five free throws down the stretch.
"We played defensive basketball for about eight or nine minutes," Brooks said. "It was what we needed. That third quarter really gave us the cushion we needed to finish out the game."
Durant made 16-of-21 shots and ended up two points shy of the highest-scoring output of his career -- and the Thunder ended up needing every basket.
Corey Maggette scored 26 points for Golden State and Monta Ellis added 25, including a pair of 3-pointers that got the Warriors within three late. But he missed a potential game-tying 3-pointer with 1:06 left, and the Warriors didn't score again.
Durant surpassed 25 points for the 21st game in a row and continued a scoring surge that pushed him past LeBron James (29.4 ppg) into second in the league in scoring. At 29.6 points per game, he trails only Denver's Carmelo Anthony (29.7).
Oklahoma City beat the Warriors at their own fast-break game in the third quarter to seize control. The Thunder scored 16 of their first 31 points after halftime on the fast break, capitalizing on seven Golden State turnovers -- including three by Ellis.
Thabo Sefolosha came away with three steals in a series of four possessions, with each one leading to a fast-break layup on the other end for the Thunder. His steal and outlet pass for Serge Ibaka's layup completed a 10-0 spurt for Oklahoma City that made it 85-70 with 2:28 left in the third quarter.
The Warriors, leading the NBA with 23.6 points per game on the fast break, didn't score in transition during the quarter.
C.J. Watson got Golden State back within striking distance with a pair of three-point plays during an 8-0 spurt early in the fourth quarter as Ellis rested on the bench, and the Warriors closed to 99-94 on Andris Biedrins' two-handed dunk with 6:12 to play.
Durant had the Thunder's next three baskets to get the lead back to nine, but Ellis drilled a pair of 3-pointers to close the gap to 107-104 with 1:33 left. He missed a 3-pointer that could have tied it 27 seconds later after Coby Karl -- playing his first game with Golden State on a 10-day contract -- stole the ball from Durant for the second straight time.
Ibaka swatted Maggette's shot on the Warriors' next possession and Stephen Curry committed a turnover the last time Golden State had the ball.
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