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                  === Durant, Thunder welcome Cavs to OKC ===
 (  -  Kevin  Durant's  MVP campaign  took  off  around  late
 December  and the Oklahoma  City Thunder will see if their leader can get them
 out of a bind Wednesday versus the Cleveland Cavaliers.
 The  Thunder have  lost two in a  row since winning three straight and fell to
 3-3  in the  last six  games with  Sunday's 125-117  loss to  the Los  Angeles
 Clippers.  Durant, the  NBA's leading scorer with 31.6 points per game, had 42
 points on 15-of-30 shooting and handed out 10 assists.
 Serge Ibaka scored 20 points and veteran reserve Derek Fisher netted 15 points
 for  Oklahoma City, which  fell to 0-2 on a six-game homestand after losses to
 Miami and Los Angeles. Russell Westbrook had 13 points in his second game back
 from knee surgery.
 The Clippers had a 44-34 advantage in the second quarter after the Thunder led
 32-28 following the first 12 minutes.
 "It's  obvious we  have to  get back  to playing  defensive basketball,"  said
 Thunder  head  coach Scott Brooks.  "We're a very  good defensive team, but we
 didn't play that tonight. We gave up 44 points in a quarter and that's usually
 at times a half."
 Oklahoma  City  still has Memphis,  Charlotte and Philadelphia slated to visit
 Chesapeake  Energy Arena  and sports  a 23-5  record in  OKC this  season. The
 Thunder  had a  nine-game home winning streak  stopped in the loss to the Heat
 last Thursday.
 The  Thunder announced Tuesday that center Kendrick Perkins will miss at least
 six  weeks because of a groin strain suffered against the Heat. Perkins needed
 surgery  to repair  the problem  and  the 2008  NBA champion  with Boston  has
 averaged 3.4 points and 5.0 rebounds in 54 games this season.
 Rookie  Steven Adams started in Perkins' place on Sunday and had one point and
 six rebounds.
 Oklahoma  City, which has  an average of 104.8 ppg this season, is 2 1/2 games
 ahead of San Antonio for the West's top seed.
 Meanwhile, the Cavaliers have lost three in a row since a season-high six-game
 winning streak and the likelihood of stopping the skid Wednesday is slim.
 The  Cavaliers suffered a 99-93 loss to the Toronto Raptors Tuesday at Quicken
 Loans Arena, as Raptors All-Star DeMar DeRozan scored a game-high 33 points on
 12-of-25  shooting. All-Star Game MVP Kyrie Irving led the Cavs with 25 points
 and Spencer Hawes chipped in 15 and seven rebounds.
 Tristan  Thompson  had 13 points for  Cleveland, which has failed to score 100
 points  in each  of the past three  games and shot 41 percent. Toronto put the
 game away in the fourth quarter by scoring a 31-24 difference.
 "It  was a  tough ball game," said  Cavs coach Mike Brown. "I thought our guys
 did  a nice job  of coming out in the second half, fighting to get back in the
 ball game and taking the lead."
 Cavs  talented reserve guard Dion Waiters missed his fourth straight game with
 a  balky  knee and  is still  sidelined. Waiters is  the highest scoring bench
 player in the East at 14.5 ppg.
 Cleveland,  which owns  an 8-21 road record this season, has held opponents to
 under  100 points  in a  season-high eight  straight games.  Oklahoma City  is
 averaging 104.8 ppg.
 Cleveland  and  Oklahoma City  split two  meetings last  season with each team
 holding  serve as  the host.  The Cavs  have won  six of  the last  nine games
 between the clubs, but is 5-16 in the last 21 trips to the OKC.
 02/26 11:17:45 ET

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