After failing to touch the ball on a critical last-second possession in Oklahoma City's previous game, Kevin Durant arrived at the Ford Center on Saturday with one thought in mind - be more aggressive.
Durant matched his season high with 40 points, including 10 in the final 4:35, as Oklahoma City held off a rally and beat visiting Indiana, 108-102.
“He’s playing like an All-Star right now,” said Durant’s teammate, Thabo Sefolosha. “He had 40 tonight and he made them when they counted.”
Oklahoma City (20-16) has won seven of its last nine games and is three wins shy of matching its total from last season.
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Indiana (11-25) lost its ninth straight road game, but the Pacers almost ended that streak. Durant sat on the bench for more than three minutes early in the fourth quarter, watching as Indiana rallied from an 18-point deficit. The Pacers pulled to 93-92 on A.J. Price’s 3-pointer with 5:16 left.
Mike Dunleavy missed a 3-point attempt that would’ve given the Pacers the lead before Durant’s 18-foot jumper ended a 31/2-minute scoreless drought for the Thunder.
Rodney Stuckey and Tayshaun Prince did not play in the second half Saturday for the Detroit Pistons against the Philadelphia 76ers because of injuries. Stuckey, the former Kentwood High and Eastern Washington University star, sat out with a sore right knee and Prince was out with a sore left knee. The 76ers started the second half with a 26-point lead and held on for a 104-94 win. …Detroit’s Ben Gordon scored the 10 millionth point in NBA history Saturday. The first NBA points were scored by New York’s Ossie Schectman on Nov. 1, 1946, at Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens. … Orlando’s Vince Carter has a “mild separation” of his left shoulder and is listed as day to day.