Durant insists team’s winning streak is more important.
There were eight games on the NBA schedule on Friday night, with the Oklahoma City Thunder securing a comprehensive 120-95 win over the Brooklyn Nets.
Kevin Durant scored just 26 points to see his 30-point run come to an end at 12 games, but despite coach Scott Brooks playing him for only 30 minutes, the 25-year-old was adamant that it was more important that the Thunder’s winning streak was extended to 10 games.
Serge Ibaka made all 12 shots to add 25 points and nine rebounds for the visitors, which was enough to allow Brooks to sit Durant through the entire fourth quarter.
“If he cared about the streak, he should’ve never missed the two shots. That’s on him. Can’t blame it on me,” Brooks said.
Durant was in agreement with his coach, stating that it was more important to beat the Nets in order to avenge the loss they suffered at home last month.
Reggie Jackson and Thabo Sefolosha scored 14 points apiece as Oklahoma City improve to 38-10 for the season, while Brooklyn slip to 20-24 despite an encouraging January.
Elsewhere, Stephen Curry scored 44 points as he helped guide the Golden State Warriors to a win over the Utah Jazz, hitting eight 3-pointers in the process.
“Every time I have a clean look, I feel like it’s a good shot. I have the confidence of everybody in the locker room. So if it’s time to score and I’m feeling the moment, I got to rise up,” Curry said after the game.
Andrew Bogut added 16 points and 17 rebounds along with five assists as he stepped up to help cover the loss of David Lee to injury, while Klay Thompson was 3-of-20 for 11 points.
The Warriors have been inconsistent so far this season, with some suggestions from experts that they could miss out on the playoffs given their erratic play.
However, having now moved to 29-19 for the season, coach Mark Jackson will be eager to see his team step it up another level as we approach the business end of the season.
The Dallas Mavericks also helped themselves to a win on Friday night, with a closely-fought 107-103 victory over the Sacramento Kings.
Fresh from being announced as a reserve for the All-Star Western Conference team, Dirk Nowitzki scored 34 points as he helped hold off the Kings who were without DeMarcus Cousins again and slipped to their sixth straight loss.
Rudy Gay scored 35 in response but it wasn’t enough as the German ace had his second straight 30-point game for the first time in nearly two years.
The Charlotte Bobcats picked up a win on the road against the Los Angeles Lakers, while the Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves.
However, perhaps most impressive was the Toronto Raptors heading out of Denver with a win over the Nuggets.
DeMar DeRozan scored 19 points, Terrence Ross had 18 while Jonas Valanciunas and Kyle Lowry were fundamental as the Raptors ended a nine-game losing streak in the Mile High City to improve to 25-21 for the season.
Milwaukee Bucks 102-113 Orlando Magic
Atlanta Hawks 125-99 Philadelphia 76ers
Memphis Grizzlies 94-90 Minnesota Timberwolves
Oklahoma City Thunder 120-95 Brooklyn Nets
Sacramento Kings 103-107 Dallas Mavericks
Toronto Raptors 100-90 Denver Nuggets
Charlotte Bobcats 110-100 Los Angeles Lakers
Golden State Warriors 95-90 Utah Jazz