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Durant scores 25 for 41st consecutive game, surpassing Jordan

Durant Passes Jordan In Loss To Suns

PHOENIX (AP) -- For the 41st game in a row, Kevin Durant scored at least 25 points. Not even Michael Jordan ever did that.

Even so, Durant would probably trade his 38 points for a win.

P.J. Tucker, who had to guard Durant most of Sunday night, scored 11 of his career-high 22 points in the fourth quarter and Phoenix beat the Thunder 122-115, giving the Suns a critical victory in their drive to make the playoffs and dealing a blow to Oklahoma City's tenuous hold on the No. 2 spot in the West.

Goran Dragic scored 26 points, Gerald Green 24 and Eric Bledsoe 18 for the Suns, who shot a season-best 58.4 percent.

With Memphis' loss to San Antonio, the Suns are a game ahead of the Grizzlies for the No. 8 spot in the West and a half-game behind No. 7 Dallas.

Durant's streak surpassed Jordan's 40 in a row of 25 or more and is the longest since Oscar Robertson did it for 46 straight games in 1963-64. Wilt Chamberlain did it in all 80 regular-season games in the 1961-62 season.

And Durant is totally unimpressed his streak.

"I don't really care about it," he said. "I can't wait until it's over."

Russell Westbrook scored 33 for the Thunder, who lead the Los Angeles Clippers by a game for the West's No. 2 playoff spot.

Oklahoma City took its final lead, 112-111, on Durant's two free throws with 2:39 to play.

Phoenix scored the next 10, the first four by Markieff Morris and the last four on free throws by Bledsoe, to lead 121-112 with 20.7 seconds to play. Durant sank a 3-pointer with 12.9 seconds to go, the only Thunder field goal in the final 3:49.

"It's all or nothing right now," Green said. "We don't have a month left to try and make up. We only got a few more games, so it's win or go home for us."

Tucker was a career-best 4 of 5 from behind the arc.

After struggling at the line all night, Phoenix made its last eight free throws.

"Everybody is trying to win at this point," Suns coach Jeff Hornacek said. "It was a good test for us and one that these guys passed."

Phoenix won the season series against Oklahoma City 2-1.

"We feel like very game we play we can win, throughout the league," Tucker said. "We have confidence that we can play with anybody in the league."

Phoenix plays its next three on the road - at New Orleans, San Antonio and Dallas.

"It's a big win for us," Dragic said. "We're a step closer, but we're still a long way from our goal."

Thunder coach Scott Brooks said Phoenix's great shooting was not solely the result of poor defense.

"They're a very good offensive team," he said. "They give you trouble because they're small, they attack, they get to the free throw line, they can make 3s, and they're desperate right now. They're fighting for their playoff lives."

Still, he said, the Thunder "didn't do a good enough job closing out their shooters."

"When you have good shooters you can't have mistakes," Brooks said, "and we had too many mistakes on the defensive end."

The Suns led by as many as 14 points in the third quarter, the last time at 85-71 on Green's 14-footer with 6:10 left, and were up 92-83 after consecutive layups by Dragic and Bledsoe with 4:04 left.

But the Thunder outscored the Suns 8-2 the rest of the quarter, Durant's driving dunk with 13 seconds left cutting Phoenix's lead to 94-91 after three.

Durant and Nick Collison scored to start the fourth quarter and Oklahoma City led for the first time since the first quarter, 95-94, with 11:06 to play.

The lead bounced back and forth after that. Tucker's reverse layup put Phoenix up 111-110 with 1:52 to go.

Marcus Morris sank a pair of jumpers in a 12-4 run that put Phoenix up 38-29 early in the second quarter.

Oklahoma City cut it to 44-41 on Reggie Jackson's driving layup, but Tucker sank a 3, Dragic converted a three-point play then scored on another drive and the Suns were back up 52-43 with 3:53 to go and led 62-53 at the break.

NOTES: The Suns are 20-0 when shooting at least 50 percent from the field. ... Dragic scored all 19 of his first-half points in the second quarter, Green scored 17 in the second half. ... Phoenix plays four of its final five games on the road. Its home game is against Memphis on April 14.

Join the discussion

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palmerbeepee April 07 2014 at 10:21 PM

To me, it's the greatest "team players" and not necessarily the scoring. Though some may disagree with the order, greatest "team" players are as follows: Bill Russell, Bill Walton, Larry Bird/Magic Johnson, Isiah Thomas, and Wilt Chamberlain (1972 only).

What's significant about these players is that, though they won NCAA and/or NBA championships - you can't remember any of their team mates. Or they won those championships multiple times, frequently with different supporting cast members.

Think about it: Name a single player from the Larry Bird Indiana State NCAA finals team that LOST to Magic Johnson. And with the exception of Greg Kelser, you can't name any of Magic's team mates either.

The great ones make others, around them, better. . . . really.

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1 reply
accordmee palmerbeepee April 08 2014 at 7:15 AM

Well you said pros, Kareem, Magic, James Worthy, Byron Scott and the last one escapes me. I think Jamaal Wilkes was the last one. Bird, Parrish, McKale just to name a few.

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1 reply
accordmee accordmee April 08 2014 at 7:16 AM

Cornbread Maxwell.

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LENWELL April 08 2014 at 10:24 AM

It's a pleasure to watch Durant play the game. Like Jordan he can do it all and without the bruising physical dominance displayed by LeBron James and some of the other leading scorers in the NBA.

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majiemao April 08 2014 at 3:57 AM

OKC still needs a 3rd man to compete with the Heat

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1 reply
mjcw majiemao April 08 2014 at 9:20 AM

They had him and gave em to the Rockets. Dumbest move they ever made!

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Veirsmill April 08 2014 at 1:05 AM

They all pale compared to the scoring machine, Wilt Chamberlain.

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2 replies
Hi Puff DROPZ Veirsmill April 08 2014 at 1:47 AM

The Stilt scored in more ways than 1

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1 reply
wandrafred Hi Puff DROPZ April 08 2014 at 12:19 PM


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Merle Veirsmill April 08 2014 at 5:07 AM

The man was a monster (meaning that in a good way) he threw the ball and it went through the net no matter where he was.

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fkfrakes8 April 08 2014 at 7:49 AM

How refreshing ! An article about the NBA and no mention of LeBron James anywhere - didn't think I would see that in my lifetime. As for who was/is the best - well, that's for you experts to decide. I enjoy watching them all.

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1 reply
mjcw fkfrakes8 April 08 2014 at 9:19 AM

I'm guessing you dont like Lebron James? And you obviously must not read many "NBA articles", because theres a ton of em out there that dont mention Lebron.

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DALIAH April 08 2014 at 11:05 AM

I enjoy watching this young man play, it will be a crime if he doesn't get MVP this season!

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1 reply
Hector Raul DALIAH April 08 2014 at 11:15 AM

well said Daliah
And I see you are a Spurs Fan
I am a Mavericks fan and they will play against each other in a few days
Good luck!!

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lov2elkhnt April 08 2014 at 1:51 PM

Durant, awesome statement. Good job.

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car nut April 08 2014 at 1:55 PM

Durant is a great ball player.

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Tom Harrell April 08 2014 at 12:31 AM

Come on over to the Suns, Kevin.
You could make Beautiful Music with Dragic and Green and Bledsoe and the M&M twins and Plumdog and PJ.
We got the best Bench, now all we need is the best Finisher.

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steve55ny1 April 07 2014 at 11:51 PM

nice record,durant..but MJ-6 RINGS..DURANT -O

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