OKC Thunder: Kevin Durant's 30-point streak ends in rout of Nets

By DARNELL MAYBERRY, Staff Writer Published: January 31, 2014

— Shaun Livingston didn’t deserve this.

And you can bet Kevin Durant didn’t want to do it to his friend and former teammate.

But it had to be done.

The streak had to continue.

So Durant lit up Livingston much like he’s done each of the previous handful of opponents who stood in his team’s way during this improbable run.

Durant scored 22 of his game-high 26 points in the first half to power the Thunder to a dominating 120-95 win over Brooklyn on Friday night inside the Barclays Center.

Durant’s streak of 12 straight games with at least 30 points was snapped, but the one he cares for most continued, as the Thunder bumped its league-best winning streak to 10 games.

“Man, I’m glad that’s over with,” a chuckling Durant said of his barrage of 30-plus-point outbursts. “I’d much rather take the win. That’s my type of game, just playing how is played. If they’re doubling, make the pass. Play easy. I wasn’t trying to force anything. That streak was good while it lasted, but that was the last of my concerns. I’m glad we won.”

With the Thunder constructing a comfortable lead that swelled to as many as 32 points midway through the third period, Durant never saw the floor in the fourth. He exited the game with 1:15 remaining in the third quarter. Before he departed, he spent much of his final seven minutes playing possum, picking apart the Nets by exploiting their aggressive double teams with precise passes that routinely set up teammates for open shots.

Durant made 10 of his 12 shot attempts and clearly could have erupted for another 40 had he forced the issue. But he had other ideas.

“That’s how you win games is playing the right way on both ends,” Durant said when asked why playing that style is so important to him. “It’s easy for me to try to force it and keep the streak alive, but we needed this win because they beat us last time and that got them going. That got their season going. So we just wanted to come in here and try to get better from when we played them last and get the ‘W.”

Thunder coach Scott Brooks said he never considered reinserting Durant for the fourth quarter.

“Not at all,” Brooks said. “It doesn’t even matter to him. I’ve been around him for several years. It’s not important. He’s a team guy. He’s about winning.”

Brooks said he also didn’t ask Durant if he wanted to go back in for more.

“I would never ask him, because I know the answer,” Brooks said. “I wouldn’t do that. But he’s going to be in this league for a long time, and he’s going to have streaks like this probably again. It’s not like he played a bad basketball game. I mean, he did have 30 points.”

Brooks playfully blamed Durant for coming up short.

“If he cared about the streak, he should have never missed the two shots,” Brooks joked. “That’s on him. You can’t blame that on me.”

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