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Durant, Thunder rout Nuggets
Oklahoma City, OK (SportsNetwork.com) - Kevin Durant scored 27 points and handed out eight assists, as the Oklahoma City Thunder thrashed the Denver Nuggets, 117-96, on Monday at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Reggie Jackson registered 16 points and 11 assists, while Caron Butler poured in 23 points off the bench for the Thunder, who have won four straight and six of their last seven games.
Ty Lawson led Denver with 25 points and seven helpers, while Kenneth Faried donated 11 points and 11 boards for the Nuggets, who have dropped two of their last three games.
"We never made them uncomfortable so they shot a high percentage from two and from three," Nuggets head coach Brian Shaw said. "Our defense was reacting to them instead of forcing the issue."
Denver led 13-10 just over five minutes in before the Thunder knocked down four consecutive 3-pointers, including two from Jackson, to take a 22-13 lead.
With the margin at 10 with just under two minutes left in the frame, Butler buried a trey and Derek Fisher followed with one of his own before Durant's three-point play helped send OKC into the second with a 41-24 spread.
Denver opened the second on a 10-0 run that Lawson capped with a triple, but the Thunder responded with eight straight points, culminating in Serge Ibaka's jumper that made it 49-34 with 8:32 left in the half.
OKC carried a 72-58 lead into halftime after shooting a scorching 28-of-47 from the floor, including 7-of-11 from long range, in the first half.
The Thunder clamped down defensively in the third, holding Denver to a 3-of-16 effort from the floor as they took a 90-73 advantage after three frames.
"The second half defensively we locked in," OKC head coach Scott Brooks said. "(Denver) is a tough team to guard. We did a great job all night of keeping them out of transition."
The Nuggets failed to get closer than 16 over the final 12 minutes.
OKC improved to 29-7 at home, while Denver dropped to 13-23 on the road this season ... Durant has scored 25 or more points in 35 straight games ... OKC guard Russell Westbrook missed the game with a knee injury ... Denver turned the ball over 21 times and recorded just 20 assists.
03/25 00:38:19 ET