Durant’s streak comes to endFor the first time since a Dec. 19 loss at Houston, Kevin Durant failed to score 25 points. Durant had 21 points through three quarters but went scoreless in the fourth quarter, going 0-of-4 from the field. "It was good while it lasted,” Durant said. "Teams in this league are too tough for my streak to continue to go on like it did. It was very cool while it lasted.” It was the second longest streak the past 35 years, trailing only Michael Jordan, who scored 25 or more points in 40 consecutive games in 1986-87. "Any player would remember something like this,” Durant said. "Now it’s time to regroup and get ready for our next game.” Durant also fell behind LeBron James by percentage points in the NBA scoring race after taking the lead Tuesday night. Both are listed at 29.8, but Durant is averaging 29.77. James is averaging 29.83.
SHORTHANDED THUNDERFor a change, it was the Thunder, not its opponent, that played shorthanded. Point guard Tony Parker (hip flexor) returned after missing the Spurs’ previous game Sunday in Detroit. The Thunder played without both of their reserve big men — Serge Ibaka (back spasms) and Nick Collison (sprained knee). Coach Scott Brooks essentially went with a seven-man rotation. Rookie center Byron Mullens played six minutes, all in the first half. Not only was it the back end of a back-to-back, it was the Thunder’s fourth game in five nights. "No excuses. Our guys are able to play a lot of minutes,” Brooks said. "All you need is five guys on the court. I learned that when I was a player. With guys on the court, you should be able to give yourself a chance to win and we did that tonight.”
DOUBLE-DOUBLESThabo Sefolosha and Durant both recorded double-doubles. Sefolosha grabbed a season-high 13 rebounds, Durant had 12. "I knew I was going to have to get a lot of rebounds because most of the game we had a small lineup,” Sefolosha said. "With Serge and Nick out, it was definitely on the guards to do a little bit more inside, get loose balls and long rebounds.”
COMPETING FOR MINUTESWhen Eric Maynor was having an off night at Minnesota, coach Scott Brooks inserted veteran point guard Kevin Ollie. It was yet another example where Brooks can send a message that on rare occasions, when a player isn’t working hard he’ll go get some else off his bench. The message was received loud and clear. Maynor played well Tuesday against Phoenix (four points, five assists and only one turnover). "We do have options. That’s what makes our team click,” Brooks said. "We have a good group of guys that want to compete for minutes. That’s why our practices are very competitive. That’s why we’re improving as a team and individually. They’re challenging each other.”
FAST BREAK...Radio play-by-play man Matt Pinto broadcast the entire first quarter. When he lost his voice, WWLS, the flagship station, simulcast TV broadcasters Brian Davis and Grant Long on the radio. ... After Phoenix shot 51.3 percent in Tuesday’s win in the Ford Center, the Thunder played much better defense. The Spurs shot 42.3 percent.