Thunder Knocks Off Denver to Claim 30th Home Win
Thursday, May 26th 2011, 12:19 pm
News On 6
Originally Published: Apr 8, 2011 10:3 PM CDTGerald Goodridge
Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Spurred along by a big third quarter from Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City expanded its slim halftime lead to 11, riding that momentum to a 104-89 win over the Denver Nuggets Friday, marking the Thunder’s 30th home win of the season.
Leading 59-51 with just 4:13 left in the third quarter, Oklahoma City finished the quarter outscoring the Nuggets 16-13 – 13 coming from Durant – to take a 75-64 advantage heading into the fourth quarter.
The wave continued into the opening minutes of the fourth, putting together a 10-3 run in the opening 3:30 of the quarter to extend the led to 85-67.
However, Denver wouldn’t go away quietly, answering with a 10-2 run of its own, capped off by a Raymond Felton three-pointer, to cut the lead to 87-78 just three minutes later.
After trading baskets for the next minute of the contest, Oklahoma City moved to put the game out of reach. The Thunder scored eight unanswered points, including three each from Durant and Russell Westbrook, to take a 100-83 lead with 2:44 left to play.
Denver scored back-to-back baskets, but Nazr Mohammed scored two easy baskets in the game’s closing 50 seconds to close the game out.
Durant continued on the path to his second consecutive scoring title, finishing with a game-high 28 points and seven rebounds. Westbrook contributed 17 points, eight assists and six steals in the win, with Mohammed and Harden scoring 15 and 14 off the bench respectively.
Denver center Nene scored a team-high 18 points and grabbed nine rebounds, Danilo Gallinari notched 17 points and nine boards and Kenyon Martin recorded a double-double with 14 points and 13 boards.
The Thunder will now head to Los Angeles for back-to-back games against the Lakers and the Kings, before coming home for a season-closing matchup against the Milwaukee Bucks.