Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Sports

December 20, 2013

Durant leads streaking Thunder past Bulls 107-95

OKLAHOMA CITY — Kevin Durant and Oklahoma City had an answer for every challenge from the Chicago Bulls.

It was just business as usual for the Thunder at home.

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.

Joakim Noah had 23 points and 12 rebounds for the banged-up Bulls, who have lost four straight and seven of eight. Taj Gibson scored 16 points and Augustin added 15.

Chicago played without Kirk Hinrich (back tightness) and Luol Deng (sore Achilles), and Jimmy Butler left during the game with a right ankle injury.

"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."

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