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Thunder 102, Cavaliers 95

Alan Draper profile picture
Sports Editor
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CLEVELAND — MVP candidate Kevin Durant finished with 35 points, 11 rebounds and six assists, leading the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 102-95 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday at Quicken Loans Arena.

Durant, the forward who is the league’s leading scorer at 31.9 points per game, scored 25 of more points for the 33rd consecutive game. It is the longest streak of its kind since Michael Jordan had a 40-game run in 1986-87.

Durant converted 12 of 21 field-goal attempts, three of eight from behind the arc.

Power forward Serge Ibaka added 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Thunder (50-18).

Oklahoma City won 50 or more games for the fifth season in a row. The only other team to do so is the San Antonio Spurs.

Shooting guard Dion Waiters matched his season high with 30 points and added four assists for Cleveland (26-43). Cavaliers center Spencer Hawes scored 20 points, and guard Matthew Dellavedova recorded his first career double-double with 11 points and a career-high 10 assists.

The Cavaliers’ postseason hopes are almost dead, as they fell 6 1/2 games behind No. 8 Atlanta for the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Cleveland used a late 21-2 run to pull within 97-92 with 1:12 to play. Durant sealed the game for Oklahoma City my sinking five of six foul shots in the last minute.

The Thunder opened up an 85-68 lead after three quarters. Durant’s drive-and-kick pass to guard Derek Fisher resulted in a 3-pointer at the third-quarter buzzer.

Waiters had 12 points in the third quarter.

Durant caught fire in the second quarter when he converted all five of his field-goal attempts. His last one was a thing of beauty. He left Cleveland forward Alonzo Gee in the dust with a killer crossover dribble, and he buried a 16-footer at the buzzer, extending the Thunder’s lead to 56-46.

The Thunder bullied the Cavs on the boards, 53-36.

NOTES: The Cavaliers had nine players available for Thursday’s game, including F Shane Edwards, an NBA Development League call-up. F Luol Deng (left ankle sprain), G/F C.J. Miles (left ankle sprain) and G/F Sergey Karasev (left patellar tendinitis) were held out of the game. They were added to the injury list that already included G Kyrie Irving (strained biceps tendon), F Anthony Bennett (strained patellar tendon) and G Carrick Felix (left patellar stress fracture). … There were rumors the Cavs might sign G Seth Curry to a 10-day contract. … The Thunder are playing without three starters in G Thabo Sefolosha (left calf strain), C Kendrick Perkins (left groin strain) and G Russell Westbrook (right knee). Oklahoma City started Reggie Jackson and Andre Roberson in the backcourt.

Alan is an experienced writer of online betting and casino guides. He is one of the main editors of Basketballinsiders.

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