Kevin Durant scored 42 points and handed out 4 assists to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to a victory over the Houston Rockets, 106-98. Indicative of his performance all season, Durant has now reached 2000 points (31.9 points per game) and 500 assists (5.6 assists per game). Oklahoma City (47-17) picked up the win after falling to Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday.
Durant went 12-22 (5-8 from three-point range) and 13-16 from the free throw line, in what was an efficient performance. He also registered 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 1 block. Other top contributors for Oklahoma City included Russell Westbrook with 24 points and 7 assists, and Serge Ibaka with 12 points and 16 rebounds. James Harden had another quality performance for Houston despite the loss, putting up 28 points on 9-21 shooting (3-7 on 3-point attempts), in addition to going 7-7 from the free throw line. He also tallied 9 assists and 8 rebounds. Chandler Parsons chipped in 19 points and 6 rebounds.
The efficient offense of the Rockets did not have its best game, struggling to score against the top-notch Thunder defense that ranks first in the league with a defensive efficiency of 100.5. Despite scoring just .974 points per possession in this one, the Rockets rank fifth in the NBA with an offensive efficiency of 107.3.
This loss snaps a five-game winning streak for Houston, dropping them to 44-20 on the year.
Coming up, the Thunder square off against the Los Angeles Lakers, who are 22-42 on the season. The Rockets match up against the Chicago Bulls, currently sitting at 35-29 this year. The Thunder won two of their last three games against Los Angeles. The Rockets are 1-0 versus Chicago this season.