Oklahoma City, OK, United States (4E Sports) – Kevin Durant tallied 31 points to lead four other teammates in double digits as the Oklahoma City Thunder survived a furious rally by the Sacramento Kings en route to their 10th straight win, 113-103, Friday at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Durant, who shot 10-for-14 from the field, added five rebounds and three assists while Serge Ibaka and Kevin Martin added 18 points apiece for the Thunder, who improved to 19-4.
The 19-4 start for the Thunder is the team’s best since moving to Oklahoma City and the best start in franchise history since the Sonics began the 1993-94 season 21-3.
The 10-game winning streak is the longest in the Oklahoma City era and the longest for the franchise since Seattle won 11 games in the 1996-97 season.
Ibaka also grabbed 11 rebounds, Thabo Sefolosha had a season-high 15 points and Russell Westbrook added 13 points and 13 assists for his ninth double-double of the season.
“Most of the game we played good basketball and then we just gave up too many easy buckets in the fourth quarter. I don’t like the way we closed the game, I didn’t wanna have to put our starters back in but we’re not perfect. We’re still trying to figure some things out,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks
Isaiah Thomas came off the bench to score 23 of his 26 points during the Kings’ furious rally in the fourth where he hit nine of his team’s 10 baskets to cut the Thunder lead from 24 to 10, with 4:17 left to play.
Then, Brooks was forced to bring three of his starters Durant, Westbrook and Ibaka back to stop the bleeding while the Kings’ backup came up short against the deadly trio.
“This game should have been on ice. We were down 24 points but our group did a good job of getting us back in. We made it tough, but Scotty has that luxury over there of calling the big dogs back in,” said Kings coach Keith Smart.
Tyreke Evans added 21, Jason Thompson dropped in 15, Aaron Brooks added 13 and DeMarcus Cousins scored 10 points and seven boards but their efforts went for naught as the Kings slipped to 7-15.