Basketball

Hot Durant sparks rolling Thunder

OKLAHOMA CITY - Kevin Durant scored 31 points to tie a franchise record for consecutive 30-point games, Nick Collison hit the tying and go-ahead free throws with 4.5 seconds left, and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Utah Jazz, 87-86, on Thursday night.

Collison came away with the ball after Durant missed a jumper from the right wing, and was fouled by Paul Millsap in the process.

After hitting only one of his previous four foul shots, Collison made both to give the Thunder its first five-game winning streak in more than four years.

Ronnie Price missed a 3-pointer from the right side at the final buzzer for Utah, which got a final surge from Deron Williams to pull ahead before Collison’s game-winning free throws.

Carlos Boozer scored 17 points, and Mehmet Okur had 11 points and 11 rebounds for the Jazz. Williams scored 10 of his 14 points in the final 5 minutes, including a three-point play with 58 seconds left that gave Utah the lead.

Durant surpassed 30 points for the sixth straight game, tying a Thunder/Seattle SuperSonics record set by Spencer Haywood in January 1972. He and Jeff Green ran together for a mid-air chest bump after Price’s shot caromed off the rim, and white, red, yellow and blue balloons dropped from the rafters.

The win gave the Thunder the same 18-14 record as Utah, one year after a New Year’s Eve win against Golden State was only OKC’s fourth of the season.

Williams had been practically silent all night before he scored the final 10 points for the Jazz, including getting fouled on a driving jumper in the final minute. He had a season-low three assists.

Green added 12 points but a season-high six turnovers, Collison scored 11 and Russell Westbrook had eight points and 10 assists for Oklahoma City. The Thunder franchise, which moved from Seattle to Oklahoma City prior to last season, hadn’t won five in a row since March 18-25, 2005.

The Thunder had its largest lead at 70-62 after Eric Maynor stripped the ball from Okur and raced down the floor for a fast-break layup early in the fourth quarter. The Jazz charged right back with a 10-2 spurt that featured three baskets by Wesley Matthews, including the tying fastbreak layup with 8:16 left.

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