NBA Game Summary - Oklahoma City at Atlanta
(Monday, January 18th)
Final Score: Oklahoma City 94, Atlanta 91
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Kevin Durant finished with 29 points, as the Oklahoma City Thunder held on for a 94-91 victory over the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena.
Durant entered the game having reached the 30-point mark in his last five contests, and had a chance to make it six in a row when he went to the line with 4.3 seconds left. He had made his first 13 free throws to that point and sank his first attempt, but missed the second to give the Hawks a chance to tie.
Jamal Crawford, who on Friday hit a three at the buzzer to lift Atlanta over Phoenix, lined up a long three from the top of the arc. However, the shot bounced off the rim to end the game.
Jeff Green finished with 15 points and 11 boards, and had a big three-point play in the final minute to help secure the win for the Thunder, who have won their last two. Nenad Krstic added 16 points and seven rebounds.
Joe Johnson had 23 points to pace the Hawks, who had won their last three. Josh Smith added 18 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists, while Al Horford scored 13 to go with 10 boards.
"I've got a lot of respect for Oklahoma City's team," Smith said. "They're young, they're exciting and they play hard. They play together. Even though Kevin Durant is the forefront of the team, he has a lot of mini-stars around him. He gets them involved at all times during the game."
The Thunder led by as many as 15, but the Hawks were close in the fourth quarter. Two free throws from Smith broke a nearly two-minute dry spell for both teams to make it an 88-88 game with 2:48 to play.
But Durant quickly followed with a jumper, and the Thunder held that two-point edge into the final minute, as neither team could sink a shot. After an Atlanta miss with half a minute to go, the Thunder called timeout with 19.2 seconds left.
"Of course making shots is good, but if we can come back and get a stop, that means we're in the game," Durant said. "I think we did that. Joe Johnson hit some tough shots, but we've got to live with those. I think we got stops when we needed them and we scored as well."
Green got the ball after the inbound and gained a head of steam on his way to the hoop. He picked the ball up with his right hand a few paces before the basket and slammed it in over Smith from the right side with 12.2 seconds to play. Green sank the following free throw for a 93-88 edge.
Mike Bibby then drained a three to make it a one-possession game.
Durant scored 12 points in the first quarter to help Oklahoma City take a 29-22 lead, and the visitors were ahead by double digits several times in the second quarter.
Russell Westbrook's jumper with 3:16 on the clock made it a 48-38 game, but the Hawks countered with the next six points and were trailing 52-49 at the break.
Oklahoma City held a 69-54 lead with 7 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter and was still up 10 late in the frame. But Atlanta scored 10 of the frame's final 14 points to cut its deficit to 79-75 moving to the fourth.
The Hawks suffered just their fifth home loss of the season (16-5). They had also won the last three matchups with the Thunder franchise...James Harden added 11 points off the bench for the Thunder...Crawford and Bibby had 12 points apiece.
01/18 17:31:35 ET