OKLAHOMA CITY — Riding its third two-game losing streak of the season, Oklahoma City was looking for a streak buster to get back in sync. Enter a struggling Milwaukee Bucks’ squad that’s been fighting to just stay in games.
For two and half quarters, it looked like the Thunder’s losing streak would be extended. But a third quarter scoring explosion propelled them to a 101-85 victory over the Bucks Saturday at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Even though Kevin Durant called it a sloppy game, he was still impressed with what his team was able to accomplish.
“It’s very important to win games like this,” Durant said. “It shows we can win different ways. We can play fast-paced. We can slow it down. We can win a sloppy, low scoring game. We can win different ways.”
The Bucks took a 54-52 advantage with 5:30 left in the third quarter as all of the energy had seemingly been sapped out of the building.
But Oklahoma City (28-9) responded with a 25-8 run to close out the third quarter and settle the game back down at 77-62.
“We just had some break downs,” Bucks coach Larry Drew said. “For the most part of the game, we were on the money with defensive execution. But there was a moment in the game when we had too many breakdowns. Against a good team, you just can’t do that.”
OJ Mayo caught fire in the fourth and got the Bucks to within six points of the Thunder. But they didn’t have enough to get any closer. Durant, Jeremy Lamb and Derek Fisher pushed the lead back to double digits where it stayed.
Despite starting the night by making only one of his first 10 shots, Durant led all scorers with 33 points on 8-for-18 shooting from the field. He was 15 of 17 from the free throw line to go along with 10 rebounds and seven assists. He has scored 30-plus points in four of his last five games.