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March 14, 2013

KD, Thunder able to get past early struggles

OKLAHOMA CITY — Unlike many super stars, Kevin Durant isn’t afraid to admit he can’t do it by himself. That there are games when the league’s leading scorer is just not playing at the level he wants to carry his Oklahoma City squad.

That is where he was Wednesday with Utah in town. After suffering through one of the worst first halves the season, Durant relied on his teammates to carry him to a 110-87 victory over the Jazz at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.

“It was a slow start,” Durant said. “Turned the ball over too many times. I don’t care who you are or what type of player you, you’ve got confidence issues if you turn the ball over so many times, miss so many shots. You get down on yourself. I want to do so well all the time. Sometimes I can’t do that well. But I get down on myself and I ‘m still learning how to get out of that.”

With the L.A. Lakers losing also, Utah (33-32) remained one game behind the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Oklahoma City (48-18) didn’t play up to its normal standards, either. Coming off its thrashing at the hands of San Antonio, Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks had hoped to see a better offensive showing. Instead, his team shot 50 percent from the field and racked up 25 turnovers.

But the Thunder’s defense was good enough to earn the blowout victory and stay one game behind the Spurs for the best record in the conference.

“We have a lot of pride. So I told them today, let’s go out here and do what we do,” Kendrick Perkins said. “Don’t worry about anything else but making it hard on them.”

Durant almost had a dubious triple double, posting 23 points, 10 rebounds and eight turnovers. It was also the second straight game he shot 7 for 13 from the field in 28 minutes.

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