Durant has 42, Thunder beat Pistons 112-111

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 16, 2014 at 11:20 pm •  Published: April 16, 2014
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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Detroit Pistons had Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. The Oklahoma City Thunder had Kevin Durant. Even on a career night for Caldwell-Pope, advantage Oklahoma City.

Durant scored 42 points, including 21 in the fourth quarter, and the Thunder secured the No. 2 playoff seed in the Western Conference, rallying from 10-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat the Pistons 112-111 Wednesday night.

Oklahoma City (59-23) had lost two straight to put itself in the must-win situation in the regular-season finale to earn the No. 2 seed.

Durant rallied the Thunder while recording his 14th 40-point game of the season. He drove for the go-ahead dunk with 16.5 seconds left and won a tip over Greg Monroe with 1.8 seconds to go after a scramble for a loose ball resulted in a jump ball in Detroit's end. Detroit's Brandon Jennings could only manage a 30-foot heave at the buzzer that banged off the rim.

"We just figured it out," Durant said. "We got it done. It wasn't the best game. We didn't play well defensively. We didn't shoot the ball well offensively. But there's something about just getting it done, having that willpower, having that fight in you, no matter what. It was a tough game, we persevered and we got a good win."

The Thunder extended their winning streak over Detroit (29-53) to nine games, dating to December 2008.

Caldwell-Pope scored 30 points for the Pistons (29-53), while Monroe had 22, Kyle Singler added 20 and Andre Drummond recorded his ninth straight double-double to end the season for Detroit, finishing with 22 points and 13 rebounds.

"Our guys played their hearts out, competed from the opening tip," Detroit coach John Loyer said. "I feel terrible for them because they deserved to win the game. They did anything we asked them to do tonight. Some guys stepped up and made some incredible shots and they put together 48 minutes of as good of basketball as we can play."

Russell Westbrook added 22 points for Oklahoma City, which will play Memphis in the first round of the playoffs. It was the ability of Westbrook, and especially Durant, to attack the rim in the fourth quarter that made the difference. Durant's fourth quarter left Loyer almost speechless.

"He's one of the top one or two players in the world," Loyer said. "That's what he did."

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