8:00 PM ET, December 19, 2013
Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, OK
It was just business as usual for the Thunder at home.
AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki
Kevin Durant was good for 32 points, nine rebounds and six assists as the Thunder won again Thursday night.
Durant scored 32 points and the Thunder beat the Bulls 107-95 on Thursday night for their eighth straight win.
Oklahoma City led by 15 in the opening minute of the fourth quarter, but the Bulls pulled within seven on D.J. Augustin's 3-pointer with 8:50 to go. Oklahoma City then outscored Chicago 16-4 over a late 5½-minute stretch to pull away.
"I thought our defense was good the whole game," Durant said after topping 30 points for the 13th time this season. "They slowed us down a little bit with their free throws, but I thought we just played through it in the second half. We were able to come out and speed it up a little bit, get some turnovers and get some easy points."
Russell Westbrook had 20 points and 10 assists, and reserve Reggie Jackson added 18 to help the Thunder improve to 13-0 at Chesapeake Arena. Oklahoma City is the only NBA team with a perfect home record.
"If we move the ball like that with the guys we have that create for everybody, create for themselves, it makes it tough on other teams," Durant said.
"I thought we still had a shot in the second half," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. "I thought we were within striking distance, but we couldn't get the key stops when we needed them. ... You've got to give them credit."
Oklahoma City led by 14 in the first half, but their advantage was cut to three at the break, prompting a strong response from the Thunder in the third quarter.
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They used a 13-4 run to go up 68-56 with 7:52 to go in the period. Westbrook's layup increased the advantage to 13 about 1½ minutes later, and then he had a layup and Durant made a jumper to make it 79-64 with 3:25 left in the third.
Jackson's 3 in the final minute put Oklahoma City up 84-72 heading to the fourth, and Nick Collison opened the final quarter with three-point play. The Bulls put together another spurt to close to 89-82 on Augustin's 3, but that was as close as it would get.
"We were just trying to shut down the paint," Jackson said. "That was our main focus at halftime and I think we did a good job of locking in, getting some stops, and getting out on the break. ... They're physical. They play really well defensively, especially half-court sets. Right now they're a little depleted, people are banged up, beat up."
Jeremy Lamb's dunk with 7:44 left made it 93-82, pumping up the home crowd. Durant made a 3-pointer and Westbrook's two free throws with 3:06 to go extended the lead to 105-86.
"I think our defense just hasn't been there to help us out," Gibson said. "We are normally a great defensive team. We just got to get guys more reps, especially now that we lost Jimmy with the ankle."
Jackson made six of the Thunder's seven baskets in a 6:13 stretch bridging the first two quarters. Lamb's steal and fast-break dunk with 9:21 left in the second interrupted Jackson's streak at four consecutive baskets.
Jackson's jumper about a minute later gave Oklahoma City a 41-27 lead.
Chicago battled back, and Mike Dunleavy hit two 3s in the final minute to get the Bulls within 55-52 at halftime.
NOTES: Durant was whistled for a technical foul with 2:25 left in the first quarter for arguing following his second personal foul. ... Led by Jackson and Lamb, Thunder reserves came in averaging 33.6 points per game, the franchise's highest since moving to Oklahoma City. ... Deng missed four games earlier this month due to a strained left calf. The Bulls are now 1-4 in his absence. ... About 45 minutes after the game, Thabo Sefolosha brought Noah to the Thunder locker room with the media still present, but the Bulls star was chased out by Oklahoma City's Kendrick Perkins.
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - DECEMBER 19: Kevin Durant #35 of the Oklahoma City Thunder drives to the basket against the...(Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images)
Around The Association
MVP: Kevin Durant was menacing -- unguardable against a team that has nothing left to hang its hat on except defense. Every shot -- including four from beyond the arc -- felt like a statement as the former scoring champion finished with 32 points, nine rebounds and six assists.
Defining moment: With Chicago trailing by just three at the half, offensive miscues to open the third quarter would spell the Bulls' demise. Oklahoma City's 13-4 run extended its lead to 12, and the Bulls were never able to recover.
LVP: Carlos Boozer. The perpetual amnesty candidate was a paltry 2-for-7 from the field, and his shoddy rotations were a boon for the Thunder's offense. Oklahoma City scored 44 points in the restricted area.
Next 5 Games
The Thunder's 13-game home win streak to start the season ties their franchise record (originally set in 1976-77).
During their current 8-game win streak, the Thunder are outscoring opponents by an average of 14 points. They've also shot 50 percent from the field as a team, and Kevin Durant has averaged 29 points during the streak.[+]
Thunder During Current 8-Game Win Streak
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