Night soured as OKC lose Westbrook to sprained knee in third quarter.
There were 10 games on the NBA schedule on Friday night, with Kevin Durant stealing the headlines yet again after a sensational 51-point display for the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Despite running out of superlatives to describe Durant’s play this season, the MVP candidate added 12 rebounds and 7 assists to his night’s work while he also hit the go-ahead three with just 1.7 seconds left in the second overtime period against the Toronto Raptors.
Reggie Jackson added 25 while Serge Ibaka had 13 as OKC (51-18) won their fourth straight to finish off a 3-0 road trip that also included wins over Chicago and Cleveland.
However, coach Scott Brooks will have been left worried after point guard Russell Westbrook exited the game in the third quarter with a sprained knee.
There is no suggestion on how long he could be sidelined for yet, but Durant rightfully takes the plaudits on another impressive night.
Meanwhile, the Chicago Bulls were unable to secure a win over Eastern Conference rivals the Indiana Pacers, with Luis Scola scoring 19 points off the bench to guide the hosts to victory.
Having lost four straight games earlier this month, the Pacers have now won five of their last six to reassert themselves at the top of the East, and will look back at a 19-0 run in the third quarter against Chicago as the turning point.
D.J. Augustin and Jimmy Butler had 17 points apiece, but it wasn’t enough to prevent the Bulls from slipping to 38-31 for the season having now lost two of their last three.
Staying in the East, the New York Knicks made it eight straight wins with Carmelo Anthony scoring 21 points while Amar’e Stoudemire had 22 points and 10 rebounds in the victory over the Philadelphia 76ers.
The Sixers tied the second-longest losing streak in NBA history at 23 consecutive losses, but it’s all systems go for the Knicks who improve to 29-40 and continue to fight for that last playoff spot.
Elsewhere, the Miami Heat were also victorious as LeBron James returned from back spasms to lead them to the win over the Memphis Grizzlies with 15 points, six rebounds and seven assists.
Meanwhile, the San Antonio Spurs kept their place at the top of the Western Conference safe with a 12th consecutive win with Marco Belinelli scoring 17 points on the road against the Sacramento Kings.
The Spurs improve to 52-16, the best record in the league, and remain a game-and-a-half above the Thunder.
Chicago Bulls 79-91 Indiana Pacers
New York Knicks 93-92 Philadelphia 76ers
Oklahoma City Thunder 119-118 Toronto Raptors
New Orleans Pelicans 111-105 Atlanta Hawks
Boston Celtics 98-114 Brooklyn Nets
Memphis Grizzlies 86-91 Miami Heat
Denver Nuggets 106-122 Dallas Mavericks
Detroit Pistons 92-98 Phoenix Suns
San Antonio Spurs 99-79 Sacramento Kings
Washington Wizards 117-107 Los Angeles Lakers