They're going streaking.
Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook were as dominant as ever on Tuesday night in Sacramento as the Thunder powered past the Kings and extended their winning streak to seven games. And thanks to the Grizzlies' victory over the Warriors earlier on Tuesday, that seven-game streak is now the longest current run in the NBA.
The Thunder came out and kicked the Kings right off their throne. OKC hit four of its first five shots and took a 9-0 lead less than three minutes into the game. The hot start forced Kings' coach Tyrone Corbin – who made his Kings' head-coaching debut in the place of the fired Michael Malone – to whistle for a timeout and regroup his troops.
The Kings responded well but still trailed 34-20 after the first. Sacramento turned up the heat a bit and cut the lead to seven at 61-54 by halftime. Oklahoma City outscored the Kings 20-17 in the third and it looked like we were in for a snoozer at Sleep Train Arena, but that changed quickly in the fourth.
Sacramento opened the final period like OKC did the first – en fuego. The Kings dashed out to a 13-2 run and seized their first lead of the night at 84-83 with a little more than eight minutes to play. The Kings' second unit propelled the run, led by Carl Landry's six points.
But Sacramento's first lead was short-lived, as OKC regained control almost immediately. The Thunder answered with an 11-2 run to put the game away.
If this were hockey, Westbrook would be the game's first star. He played with a Tasmanian-Devil-like fury, pouring in 32 points to go with seven assists, six rebounds and four steals.
“That's what he does,” Brooks said of Westbrook. “He's a winner, and winners find many ways to win. He can fill up the stat sheet…he does whatever it takes to help us win.”
Durant was a little cooler and calmer, but just as deadly. KD scored 26 points on 12-25 shooting and passed a lofty milestone in the process. Durant became the second-youngest player in NBA history to reach the 15,000 career points scored mark. The only guy faster was LeBron James (who of course bypassed college).
Serge Ibaka put up a relatively quiet offensive night with just nine points, but did grab six rebounds and block seven shots. Anthony Morrow chipped in 10 off the Thunder bench.
Rudy Gay led the Kings with 22 points and six rebounds. It was Gay who recently referred to Thunder center Kendrick Perkins as a clown, remaking that Perkins “might as well play with his face painted.” Landry added 14 off the Kings' bench.
This was the Thunder's 12th straight win over the Kings. OKC (12-13) remains one half game out of the eighth playoff spot.