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Crowd-pleasing Kevin Durant scores 40 in win over Nets

BY DARNELL MAYBERRY, Staff Writer, Modified: December 29, 2009 at 10:14 am •  Published: December 29, 2009

He baited Williams into fouling him while attempting a 3-pointer from the top of the arc and made all three free throws. He directed Nenad Krstic to the right elbow, where he set him up for a 20-footer. He drained two more freebies, then a layup. Durant then ended the run by feeding Krstic for another jumper, this time a 14-footer from the right baseline.

The Thunder closed the period on a 14-4 run to take an 84-76 lead into the final frame. New Jersey never got closer than six.

“We struggled a little bit early, turning the ball over a lot. But he was able to step up and make enough plays to keep us right there going into the half,” said Oklahoma City’s Nick Collison. “And in the third quarter, he just took the game over.”

Durant became the latest star to swat away the Nets during their forgettable season. New Jersey’s league-worst record fell to 2-29 despite a career-high tying 29 points from Yi Jianlian. Oklahoma City held New Jersey to 13 points in the final period and 39.5 percent shooting in the second half after the Nets shot 51.4 percent in the first 24 minutes.

The Thunder, meanwhile, moved to 16-14, winning three straight for the first time this season. It was also OKC’s eighth road win, tying last year’s total for road victories.

“We have a long way to go,” Durant said. “We still have a lot of slip-ups in games but we’re getting better and hopefully we peak at the right time.” Box score from Monday's game