Utah (18-13) at Oklahoma City (17-14)

Cloudy Currently: Oklahoma City, OK, US
Temp: 69° F
  • Game info: 8:00 pm EST Thu Dec 31, 2009
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Even in the midst of the franchise’s longest winning streak in 3 1/2 years, Oklahoma City is not taking anything for granted.

The surging Thunder look for a fifth straight victory when they host the Utah Jazz on Thursday night.

Kevin Durant(notes) had 35 points with 11 rebounds and Jeff Green(notes) added 18 points in Oklahoma City’s 110-98 win at Washington on Tuesday night. This is the first four-game winning streak for the franchise since April 2-9, 2006, when it was the Seattle SuperSonics.

The Thunder (17-14), who haven’t won five in row since March 18-25, 2005, are six wins shy of matching their total from last season - their first in Oklahoma City.

“We’re playing pretty decent right now. We can’t get complacent,” Durant said. “We know in the back of our heads it’s our first four-game winning streak in a couple of years. We’re excited about that, but we have to work hard every day.”

That’s the attitude the Thunder will need to earn a second straight win over Utah (18-13) before a two-game road trip to Milwaukee and Chicago.

Durant has been among the biggest reasons for the team’s recent surge.

The Thunder’s star is averaging 34.6 points on 58.8 percent shooting in his last five games, topping the 30-point mark in each of them and nine times in 14 contests this month. His prolific output has helped the Thunder average 107.5 points during their winning streak.

“I could be more aggressive, I think,” said Durant, who had 28 points with eight assists in Oklahoma City’s 104-94 win at Utah on Nov. 24.

Green had 19 in that matchup, and is averaging 18.8 points in his last six games versus the Jazz.

Utah didn’t have an easy time of it Wednesday at Minnesota, but prevailed 107-103 for its second straight victory.

The Jazz nearly blew a 17-point fourth-quarter lead, but held on to beat the last-place Timberwolves for the first time in three tries this season. Deron Williams(notes) had 21 points with 12 assists and Ronnie Brewer(notes) added 20 points.

“We’re just happy to get this win and move on to (Thursday),” said forward Carlos Boozer(notes), who had 16 points and 12 rebounds. “We take every road win, every win, period.”

The Jazz also scored 100 points for just the second time in six games.

Averaging 19.9 points and 10.1 assists on the season, Williams has totaled 48 points in his last two games. He had 10 points with nine assists and seven rebounds in the November loss to Oklahoma City, but is averaging 20.8 points in his last four games against the Thunder.

Boozer had 26 points in the most recent meeting with Oklahoma City, and is averaging 23.0 and 11.8 boards his last 10 times facing the Thunder.

Oklahoma City reserve guard Eric Maynor(notes) will face Utah for the first time since the Jazz traded him to the Thunder on Dec. 22. He’s averaging 5.0 points in four games with his new team.

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Thursday, Dec 31