Durant scores 27 points, Thunder send Bosh-less Raptors to 3rd straight loss, 119-99By Jeff Latzke, AP
Sunday, February 28, 2010
Raptors lose 3rd straight without Bosh, 119-99
OKLAHOMA CITY — Kevin Durant scored 29 points, Nenad Krstic had a rare 3-pointer and added 16 points and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat Toronto 119-99 on Sunday night to send the Raptors to their third straight loss without All-Star Chris Bosh.
Oklahoma City took control with an early 12-0 run and never got much of a challenge in the second half from the Raptors without their leading scorer and rebounder. The Thunder led by at least nine throughout the second half and were up by 28 at one point.
Jeff Green had 20 points and matched his career high with four steals, Russell Westbrook added 14 points, 10 assists and four steals, and rookie Serge Ibaka had 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Thunder.
Andrea Bargnani and Sonny Weems each had 14 points to lead Toronto, which has lost three or more consecutive games for only the third time this season.
Westbrook had the first seven points — five of them from the free-throw line — in an 11-2 run that put the game away for the Thunder late in the third quarter. James Harden’s layup completed the spurt and made it 87-66.
Durant’s two-handed jam off an alley-oop from Green made it 107-81 midway through the fourth quarter and Thunder coach Scott Brooks called timeout on Oklahoma City’s next possession to pull his starters.
The Thunder improved to 25-3 when scoring 100 or more this season.
Toronto had won its first two games after Bosh sprained his left ankle, albeit against lowly New Jersey and a Washington team without Gilbert Arenas, Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison. But the Raptors couldn’t match their level of play from two nights earlier, when they pushed Cleveland to overtime in a loss.
Oklahoma City shot 52 percent and outscored Toronto 21-10 on fast breaks.
Krstic had a three-point play and a layup underneath during a string of 12 straight points for Oklahoma City in the first quarter, and Durant made it 27-13 with his right-handed dunk with 3:58 left in the period.
Toronto pulled to 42-36 after back-to-back baskets by Rasho Nesterovic and Jose Calderon midway through the second quarter, but the Thunder responded immediately as Ibaka had a two-handed jam off a behind-the-back pass from Westbrook for Oklahoma City’s first of six points in a row.
Krstic, the Thunder’s 7-foot center, hit his second career 3-pointer to put Oklahoma City up 61-47 at halftime.
NOTES: Five of the Thunder’s last 13 opponents, and seven of their last 21, have played without an injured All-Star. Oklahoma City has had its starting lineup in tact for all but two games this season, when Krstic was out with an injury to his left Achilles tendon and then a sprained left ankle. … Oklahoma City didn’t commit its first turnover until Jarrett Jack stole the ball from Krstic with 4:36 left before halftime. The Raptors are last in the NBA in steals. … The only other 3-pointer of Krstic’s six-year career came on April 18, 2006, against Philadelphia. He tried another in the third quarter and is 2 for 12 in his career.
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