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SPORTS: Oklahoma City Thunder

Royal Pain: Durant Reigns As Thunder Gets By Pesky Kings

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Eight the hard way. 

Kevin Durant scored 27 points and grabbed 11 rebounds as the Oklahoma City Thunder held on for a wild win Tuesday night, beating the Sacramento Kings 97-95 and extending the Thunder's season-long winning streak to eight.

Maybe it was the late tip-time, perhaps is was the lowly opponent.  Regardless, Oklahoma City got off to a poor start on both ends of the court.  The Kings outscored the Thunder 31-19 in the first, but the Thunder woke up fast.  OKC outscored Sacramento 31-16 in the second and took a 50-47 lead at the break.

With 3:33 to play in the third quarter, Greivis Vasquez sank a pair of free throws to give the Sacramento Kings a 63-62 lead.  That's when the Thunder finally struck. 

Led by Jeremy Lamb and Nick Collison, Oklahoma City exploded on an 18-0 run, seizing control with an 82-65 lead early in the fourth quarter. 

But before you could blink, the Kings stormed right back.  Sacramento answered with a 13-0 run to get back within four at 82-78.  Derek Fisher's jumper with 7:33 left finally stopped the bleeding and allowed the Thunder to regain its footing.

Lamb nailed a 3-ball with 3:17 to play to give the Thunder a 94-88 lead.  Sacramento's Marcus Thornton answered back with a 3 to make it 94-91, but after a Kings timeout, Reggie Jackson buried a 3 of his own from the right wing to put OKC back up 97-91. 

Isaiah Thomas made things interesting late, getting two buckets to cut the Thunder lead to 97-95, but missed a potential game-tying step-back jumper as time expired and the Thunder held on.

Russell Westbrook added 15 points, eight rebounds and seven assists for OKC.  He also committed seven turnovers.  The Thunder's dynamic duo off the bench also stepped up Tuesday night.  Lamb and Jackson combined for 27 points on 10-18 shooting while Serge Ibaka chipped in 13 points and nine boards.

The Thunder turned the ball over 17 turnovers to the Kings' eight, but held the distinct advantage in paint points, 40-26.   

OKC (13-3) is back at it Wednesday night in Portland against the red-hot Trail Blazers.  Portlant is off to a smoldering 15-3 start and is notoriously stingy at home.  Tip time is set for 9 p.m. CT. 

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