Kevin Durant put up 35 points and notched 12 rebounds to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to a victory over the Chicago Bulls, 97-85. Oklahoma City (49-18) picked up the win after falling to the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday.
Durant went 11-21 (3-4 from three-point range) and 10-12 from the free throw line. Russell Westbrook also chipped in for Oklahoma City, finishing with 17 points and 9 rebounds. Despite the loss, Taj Gibson scored 16 points off the bench for Chicago on 6-14 shooting from the field and 4-6 from the free throw line. He also tallied 7 rebounds. Carlos Boozer added 12 points and 11 rebounds.
As expected, the Bulls offense did not have its best game, struggling to score against the stingy Thunder defense that ranks first in the league with a defensive efficiency of 100.5. They registered just .924 points per possession in this game, and rank 29th in the NBA with an offensive efficiency of 99.0 on the season. In addition to 22.7% from 3-point range, the Bulls tallied an eFG% of just 37.5%. They are 3-13 on the season when registering marks below 30% and 45%, respectively, in those statistics. The Thunder, conversely, are 9-2 when holding the opposition to such dismal shooting numbers.
This drops Chicago (37-30) to 0-2 against Oklahoma City on the year.
Coming up, the Thunder battle the Cleveland Cavaliers, who are 26-41 on the season. The Bulls go up against the Philadelphia 76ers, currently sitting at 15-52 this year. The Thunder have a 0-1 record against Cleveland this season. The Bulls have a 1-1 record against Philadelphia this season.