St. Kevin's Day: Durant's 35 Leads OKC Past Bulls - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

St. Kevin's Day: Durant's 35 Leads OKC Past Bulls

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As one would expect playing against the Chicago Bulls, most of Monday's contest was a low-scoring, grind-it-out slugfest. 

So for the sake of time, let's skip to the final nine minutes of the game. 

The Thunder was clinging to a 76-75 lead. Despite Durant's 31 points and Chicago's top scorer only having 12, the game was practically deadlocked.  But that changed quickly. 

With 8:37 to play, Durant's errant pass for Reggie Jackson was deflected into the hands of Derek Fisher, who buried a wing 3-pointer to put the Thunder up four.  3-0 run.

On the Thunder's next posession, Jackson whipped a bullet pass to Serge Ibaka for an uncontested layup.  5-0 run.

Chicago called for a timeout, but it didn't matter. OKC's next posession consisted of a beautiful high pick-and-roll, and Russell Westbrook found a rolling Durant for an easy slam.  7-0 run.

The very next trip down, Caron Butler was fouled attempting a corner 3-ball.  Butler drained all three free throws to put the Thunder up 86-75. 10-0 run. 

After a pair of empty trips, Westbrook crossed over Kirk Hinrich and scored with the left hand. He later added a free throw to cap a 13-0 run, and what was previously a back-and-forth battle had gotten out of hand quickly.

In the end, the outcome was a happy one for the Thunder.  The 97-85 win improves Oklahoma City to 49-18 overall and brings the Thunder back within 1.5 games of the Spurs for the No. 1 spot in the Western Conference. 

Durant was spectacular throughout, scoring 35 points and grabbing 12 rebounds.  Westbrook, despite playing only 28 minutes, also dominated play.  Russ scored 17 points, dished out nine assists and grabbed nine boards. 

It marked the 32nd straight game in which Durant scored 25+ points.  KD also scored 30 points for the 40th time this season. Second in the NBA? LeBron James, with just 23.

Butler led the Thunder bench with 12 points while Jackson added 11.  Jeremy Lamb once again fell outside the rotation, playing just two minutes in mop-up time. 

RELATED STORY: It's Tryout Time For The Thunder's Young Core

Taj Gibson's 16 points and seven boards off the bench led Chicago. The Bulls had five players finish in double figures, while Joakim Noah added nine and Hinrich scored eight. 

The Thunder is back in action Thurday night in Cleveland. The Cavs will reportedly be without star point guard Kyrie Irving (left bicep injury).

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