Durant scores 37 to help Thunder beat Grizzlies

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 28, 2014 at 11:14 pm •  Published: February 28, 2014
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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Kevin Durant often says he'll do whatever his team needs.

In the second half against Memphis, his mission was simply to score as often as possible. He had 30 of his 37 points after halftime to help the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Grizzlies 113-107 on Friday night.

Durant made 10 of 15 shots and all eight of his free throws after halftime to help the Thunder hold off a furious rally.

"I just told myself to be aggressive, to score," said Durant, the NBA's scoring leader. "That's all I said to myself at half. I was frustrated with the shots I was taking. I felt that I wasn't disciplined. I worked my fundamentals. I just wanted to be aggressive to score. I think that's what my team needed."

Russell Westbrook had 21 points and six assists in 28 minutes, Serge Ibaka had 16 points and nine rebounds and Reggie Jackson added 14 points for the Thunder, who snapped a three-game losing streak.

Oklahoma City had dropped every game since Westbrook returned from his latest knee surgery — and nearly lost again because Mike Miller scored all 19 of his points in the fourth quarter to rally Memphis. Westbrook wasn't worried about the fact that the Thunder almost squandered the 16-point lead they had heading into the fourth.

"We won, that's what I'm going to take from it," Westbrook said. "We lost three in a row. We just won."

Marc Gasol had 17 points and Zach Randolph added 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Grizzlies, who had won five of six. Memphis ran into a team that was tired of losing.

"They're extremely talented, but they were very focused, locked in," Memphis coach Dave Joerger said. "They played at a very, very high level, I thought tonight, as well as I've seen them play against us in a long, long time."

Thunder guard Thabo Sefolosha left in the first half with a left calf strain and did not return.

The Grizzlies made 26 of 40 shots in the second half, but couldn't stop Oklahoma City in the final minutes when the game got close.

The Thunder offense broke out of a lull in the second quarter when Westbrook returned from a rest. He scored 10 points in the final 5:36 to help Oklahoma City take a 57-42 lead at the break despite getting just seven points from Durant on 2-for-9 shooting.