NBA News Wire
Thunder 104, Kings 92
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Guard Russell Westbrook scored 32 points, and center Kevin Durant added 26 on a historic night, as the Oklahoma City Thunder spoiled the debut of Sacramento Kings interim coach Tyrone Corbin with a 104-92 victory Tuesday at Sleep Train Arena.
Westbrook and Durant combined to lead an 11-2 Oklahoma City run over a five-minute stretch in the final period, and the Thunder (12-13) won their seventh straight. Oklahoma City has gone 9-1 since a 3-12 start.
Durant, 26, made his first two shots to become the second-youngest player in NBA history to reach 15,000 career points. Only LeBron James was younger. Durant reached the milestone in his 550th career game, only the third player in the past 40 seasons to reach that mark in so few games, trailing only Michael Jordan (460 games), James (540) and Shaquille O’Neal (547).
Forward Rudy Gay finished with 22 points for Sacramento, and forward Carl Landry added 14 off the bench, but the Kings never led by more than a point during Corbin’s debut.
Corbin was named the team’s interim coach on Monday after the firing of former Sacramento coach Michael Malone. Team management has emphasized they want a different style of play under Corbin, one that pushed the running game.
But the Kings fell behind 9-0 out of the gate and did not lead until the fourth quarter.
Reggie Jackson converted a three-point play after driving the lane to wipe out the last one, giving Oklahoma City an 88-86 lead and beginning the closing 11-2 run that proved to be the difference.
Sacramento has lost nine of its past 11 games and fell to 2-8 in 10 games without starting center DeMarcus Cousins (viral meningitis).
NOTES: The Kings retired the No. 16 worn by G Peja Stojakovic, who played the most games (518) in franchise history, averaging 18.3 points per game during eight seasons with Sacramento. Stojakovic, who played in Sacramento from 1998-2006, is the Sacramento-era’s all-time second-leading scorer (9,498, trailing only G Mitch Richmond) and ranks in the Top 10 in steals (fifth)and rebounds (ninth). … The Thunder scored 70 points in the first half of its previous two games, a first during the franchise’s seven seasons in Oklahoma City. … New Sacramento coach Tyrone Corbin was 112-146 during four seasons with the Jazz. Corbin, who replaced Jerry Sloan after the latter’s 23 seasons in Utah, guided the Jazz to one playoff appearance, during the strike/lockout-shortened 2011-12 season. Utah lost four straight in its first-round playoff elimination against the San Antonio Spurs that season. … For all the talk about F Kevin Durant’s return, Oklahoma City was 7-1 in G Russell Westbrook’s first eight games.
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