Durant powers Thunder into lead in Northwest
January 23, 2014, 12:06 am TWN
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Oklahoma City claimed sole ownership of the NBA's Northwest Division with a 105-97 win over rival Portland on Tuesday, as Kevin Durant continued his extraordinary scoring run with a 46-point personal haul.
Among the day's other games, Miami blew a big lead but recovered to beat Boston, while Minnesota notched a rare win at Utah.
Durant scored 11 of his 46 points in the final 3:23 to steer the Thunder to a victory that not only gave them top spot in the division, but moved them within half a game of San Antonio for the Western Conference lead.
He has scored at least 30 points for eight consecutive games, the longest such streak of his career. He made 17 of 25 field goals, including six of seven 3-pointers.
Reggie Jackson added 15 points for Oklahoma City, which had lost both its previous games against Portland this season.
LaMarcus Aldridge had 29 points and 16 rebounds for the Trail Blazers.
Miami's LeBron James scored 11 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter to guide the Heat to a 93-86 win over Boston.
Chris Bosh added 16 for Miami, which scored the last nine points of the game to pull out an unconvincing win.
Brandon Bass scored 15 points for the Celtics, who outrebounded Miami 46-33 but shot only 39 percent.
Rajon Rondo, still regaining touch after knee surgery, missed all eight of his shots, plus a pair of free throws with the Celtics down four with 44.4 seconds remaining.
Minnesota's Kevin Love had 19 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists to lead the Timberwolves past Utah 112-97.
Ricky Rubio has returned to his spontaneous, free-flowing style and had 11 points and 13 assists for the Wolves, who snapped a seven-game losing streak in Utah.
Gordon Hayward returned from a five-game absence to lead the Jazz with 27 points, but he was the only starter in double figures.
Sacramento's Rudy Gay tied a career high with 41 points to power the Kings to a 114-97 win over New Orleans.
Brooklyn's Andray Blatche came off the bench and had a team-high 18 points as the Nets beat Orlando 101-90 for their eighth win in nine games.