Thunder 105, Nuggets 93

Michael Kelly, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

DENVER -- Forward Kevin Durant scored 30 points, guard Russell Westbrook added 21 points and 12 rebounds and the Oklahoma City Thunder pushed their winning streak to seven with a 105-93 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday night.
Forward Serge Ibaka had 17 points and nine rebounds for Oklahoma City, which has won 14 of 15.
The Thunder (20-4) have been dominant at home and on the road, where they are 6-1 on this streak. They've moved to within a half-game of red-hot Portland (21-4) in the Northwest Division.
They used the same formula in beating Denver -- strong play from the superstars and key contributions from everyone else.
Center J.J. Hickson had 20 points and 14 rebounds and guard Ty Lawson had 17 points and 13 assists for the Nuggets, who have dropped two of their last three home games.
Ibaka did most of his damage in the first quarter. He made his first five shots and scored 13 points to help Oklahoma City take a lead it never surrendered.
When Denver (14-10) tried to make a run, Durant and Westbrook responded.
The Nuggets pulled within 58-57 and had a chance for their first lead since the first quarter but forward Wilson Chandler missed a running hook.
The Thunder then scored nine straight points, capped by Durant's 3-pointer that made it 69-58.
It was a 12-point lead when guard Nate Robinson hit a pair of 3-pointers to make it 83-77, but Durant hit a shot and then stole the ball from Robinson.
Westbrook, who finished two assists shy of a triple-double, hit a pair of free throws before guard Derek Fisher's three-point play made it 89-77 with 6:09 left.
Westbrook's 3-pointer with 4:49 left made it 94-79.
Denver's fourth-quarter woes started when forward Jordan Hamilton was called for a Flagrant Foul 2 and was ejected 59 seconds into the period.
The Nuggets missed their first nine shots of the second quarter, 11 straight overall and 13 of 14. The Thunder reserves took advantage of the cold spell by spearheading an 11-1 run that gave Oklahoma City a 37-25 lead.
The Nuggets regrouped and cut it to 41-37 late in the second, the Thunder finished the half strong to take a 52-44 lead into the break.
Ibaka led all scorers with 15 at halftime.
NOTES: While winning each of its previous six games, Oklahoma City averaged 111.2 points and prevailed by an average margin of 15.2 points. ... The Nuggets won nine of their previous 11 home games against the Thunder/SuperSonics franchise. ... Oklahoma City F Serge Ibaka began the night averaging career highs in points (14.5) and rebounds (9.4) this season. He was 11th in the league in rebounds per game. ... Entering Tuesday's games, Denver's bench ranked third in the NBA in scoring at 44.7 points a game, 11 more than the Thunder's reserves. ... Oklahoma City entered the game 14-1 when outrebounding its opponent. ... Thunder reserve F Andre Roberson played for the University of Colorado, 30 miles from Pepsi Center.

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