LOS ANGELES: Kevin Durant again came up big against his former team, pouring in a season-high 40 points to lead the Golden State Warriors to a 121-100 NBA victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Durant, who departed Oklahoma City as a free agent in the off-season, had scored 39 against the Thunder when the teams met for the first time this season in November.
On Wednesday (Thursday in Manila) he provided 13 points in a third-quarter surge that saw the Warriors seize a 93-78 lead in a game that was knotted at 56-56 at halftime.
The 47th 40-point game of Durant’s career helped Golden State withstand Thunder guard Russell Westbrook’s 21st triple-double of the season.
Westbrook amassed 27 points, 15 rebounds and 13 assists, but he also coughed up 10 turnovers and while connecting on just eight of his 23 shots from the field.
Klay Thompson, who arrived at Oracle Arena in Oakland after a trip to visit his ailing grandfather in Portland, was tasked with defending Westbrook and also contributed 14 points on the offensive end.
Golden state’s two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Stephen Curry had 24 points, including nine in the decisive third quarter.
Overall the Warriors shot 54.1 percent of the field, and made 10 of 21 from three-point range.
Durant connected on 13 of his 16 attempts from the field, including five of seven from three-point range. He also pulled down a team-high 12 rebounds as the Warriors beat the Thunder 46-36 on the boards.
Draymond Green added 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Warriors.
Westbrook had 16 of his points in the first half, during which the Thunder led by as many as seven.
He was sent to the court by a flagrant foul from Golden State center Zaza Pachulia in the final minute of the first half, and the resulting free throws produced the halftime tie.
Wizards still hot at home, down Grizzlies 104-101
John Wall and Otto Porter scored 25 points apiece as the Washington Wizards notched their 13th straight home NBA win, 104-101 over the Memphis Grizzlies.
Wall’s night included six points in the final 2:11. He also handed out 13 assists for the Wizards, who were able to celebrate yet another home win when Memphis reserve James Ennis missed a potential game-tying three pointer as time expired.
The Grizzlies beat Washington earlier this season after forcing overtime with a long-range basket.
That defeat in the second game of the season was part of the Wizards’ 0-3 start under new coach Scott Brooks. But after opening the season 2-8, the Wizards are 16-7 since December 5.
“Back then, it was early. We were figuring each other out,” said Porter, who drained a career-high six three-pointers. “New coaches, new players. Right now, we’re starting to figure things out.”
Markieff Morris finished with 17 points and 12 rebounds for the Wizards, who never trailed and led by as many as 19.
But there were some tense moments at the end, as Memphis trimmed the deficit to 97-95 with 2:34 to play.
Wall answered by blasting past Memphis big man Marc Gasol for a layup and, after a Grizzlies turnover, outmaneuvering Gasol for another basket.
Vince Carter’s three-pointer with 9.9 seconds left to play pulled the Grizzlies within 104-101. But after Memphis forced a jump ball and regained possession, Ennis missed.
“We got a great look at it,” Memphis coach David Fizdale said. “I think even James was surprised he was so open.”
The Wizards’ home streak is the club’s longest since the then-Washington Bullets won 15 straight at home in the 1988-89 season.