ATLANTA — Kevin Durant scored 30 points. As usual, there was so much more to his performance.
Dominating at both ends of the court, Durant led the Oklahoma City Thunder to their 11th win in 12 games, holding off the Atlanta Hawks 101-92 Tuesday night.
Shelvin Mack scored a career-high 17 points off the bench to lead an Atlanta comeback that had the sparse crowd roaring.
The Thunder closed it out at the end,
“They revved up their intensity on the defensive end, their physicality,” Durant said. “We matched their intensity and were able to take that punch and give a bigger punch back on the defensive end.”
Durant knocked down 9 of 21 from the field and 11 of 15 free throws. He also had 10 rebounds, five assists, two blocks and a steal, helping limit Atlanta to just 36 percent shooting.
“We finally got a couple stops in a row at the end,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. “Any time you hold an NBA team in the 30s percent-wise in field goals, then you’re doing a good job defensively.”
Coming off an impressive 118-94 home victory over Indiana, the Thunder had more trouble on the road against the Hawks. But the result was the same: another Oklahoma City win, despite a tough shooting night for Russell Westbrook.
He was held to 14 points on a 6-of-21 effort, though he did sink an impressive reverse layup with 1:41 remaining to help finish off Atlanta.
Paul Millsap led the Hawks with 23 points. Al Horford was held to seven, unable to get anything going against the Thunder’s stifling defense.
Oklahoma City appeared in control after a 10-0 run finished off by a spectacular play. Jeff Teague turned it over near midcourt, Westbrook took off the other way on what looked to be a layup, only to flip the ball back over his head to Durant streaking down the court for a thunderous dunk that stretched the lead to 88-75 with 6:47 remaining.