All-Star Durant scorches Nuggets

OKLAHOMA CITY - Already scoring with more consistency than any NBA player ever has at his age, Kevin Durant now gets to go to the All-Star Game.

Durant scored 30 points to continue a monthlong tear and Oklahoma City snapped Denver’s nine-game winning streak with a 101-84 victory Friday. It was the Nuggets’ lowest scoring output of the season.

Durant, who leads the NBA in scoring since Christmas and is third overall, had at least 25 points for the 20th straight game. At 21, he’s the youngest player ever to accomplish that feat.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to be around him and watch him progress from his rookie year …,” said teammate Nick Collison. “Now, his efficiency and the way he scores, very few guys in the world can play like that.”

Durant, averaging 31.9 points over his previous 17 games, was picked as a reserve for the West All-Stars on Thursday – the first OKC player named an All-Star.

Chauncey Billups led the Nuggets with 19 points and reserve J.R. Smith hit five 3-pointers and had 18. The Nuggets were without NBA scoring leader Carmelo Anthony for the third straight game.

A winter storm kept the Nuggets in the hotel for two days straight, and they’ll remain in town one more day because the airport is closed. More than 10,000 fans turned out although the storm left city streets coated with snow and ice.


1 GUN LANGUAGE A Nike ad featuring superstars LeBron James and Kobe Bryant includes a gun reference and has upset league officials. The ad appearing in Sports Illustrated and ESPN The Magazine has James on one page, Bryant on the other with the slogan “Prepare For Combat” and a quote from each. “I’ll do whatever it takes to win games,” Bryant says. “I don’t leave anything in the chamber.” League spokesman Tim Frank said: “We think it is inappropriate.”

2 HE HAD TO LOVE IT, BABY! The Utah Jazz honored Hot Rod Hundley for his 35 years with the club, hanging a banner in the rafters next to the team’s retired numbers and dedicating the press room to the longtime radio and television broadcaster. Hundley, who called 3,051 Jazz games, retired last year.