Thunder pull away from Bulls
Chicago, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - Kevin Durant put on another efficient 35- point scoring display and added 12 rebounds and five assists to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder past the Chicago Bulls, 97-85, on Monday.
Russell Westbrook, who sat out Sunday's 23-point loss to the Mavericks, netted 17 points and was one rebound and one assist away from a triple-double, while Serge Ibaka checked in with 15 points for the victors.
"Our transition game is predicated on getting stops. We did a good job making them miss a lot of shots," said Thunder head coach Scott Brooks, whose group held Chicago to 34.5 percent shooting.
Carlos Boozer totaled 12 points and 11 assists for the Bulls, who got 16 points from Taj Gibson and finished their six-game homestand with a 3-3 mark.
The Bulls, wearing green jerseys in honor of St. Patrick's Day, entered the fourth quarter in a 74-67 hole but scored eight straight points following two Reggie Jackson free throws to pull within 76-75.
Unfortunately for the Bulls, their luck stopped there.
They had two chances to take the lead, but Derek Fisher blocked Gibson under the basket and Jimmy Butler was off the mark on a 3-point try -- the first and second of 11 consecutive misses by Chicago.
Oklahoma City's subsequent 16-1 run, capped by Ibaka's dagger corner 3-pointer with just over three minutes to play, gave the Thunder a healthy 16-point cushion they did not relinquish.
Durant scored 10 points in the first quarter, including a step-back jumper just before the buzzer to break a 21-21 tie.
"Durant is tough to guard," Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau said. "You have to guard him with your team."
A back-and-forth second ended with the Thunder still holding a two-point lead, 47-45, and Durant keyed an 8-0 run midway through the third that stretched Oklahoma City's lead to 69-58.
Durant extended his consecutive games streak with 25-or-more points to 32 games, the longest in the NBA since Michael Jordan strung together 25-plus points in 40 straight games during the 1986-87 season ... The Thunder improved to 6-4 on the second night of a back-to-back ... The Thunder swept the season series and have won five straight meetings ... Oklahoma City shot 13-of-25 from behind the arc.
03/18 00:21:53 ET