x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

In-form Durant steals Mavericks' thunder

Kevin Durant extended his impressive scoring streak with another 25-point haul as the Oklahoma City Thunder won for the seventh time in a row.

Kevin Durant extended his impressive scoring streak with another 25-point haul as the Oklahoma City Thunder won for the seventh time in a row on Tuesday night with a 99-86 victory over the Dallas Mavericks. Fresh from participating in his first All-Star game, Durant racked up 25 points for a 26th consecutive game, the longest such run since Allen Iverson completed the feat for 27 games in a row in the 2000-01 season. The third-year forward led all scorers despite shooting a mediocre nine-for-28 from the field, but also contributed a game-high 14 rebounds. "My teammates did a great job of picking me up when my shots weren't falling. The important thing is we got the win," Durant said.

"We're on a nice streak right now, but they're a humble group," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. "They're looking forward to challenging each other." The Thunder spoiled the debut of Dallas's new acquisitions after the team traded for high-scoring forward Caron Butler, centre Brendan Haywood and reserve DeShawn Stevenson during the All-Star weekend. "We didn't make shots," Mavericks point guard Jason Kidd said. "I think we started pressing. It just didn't work out."

Elsewhere, the New Jersey Nets won for just the fifth time this season with a 103-94 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats, a team they have now beaten twice. Courtney Lee scored 21 points and Devin Harris added 17 for the team who are 3-47 against the rest of the NBA, but 2-1 versus the Bobcats. "I have no idea," said the Nets' Brook Lopez when asked to explain their mastery over a potential play-off team. "But I don't mind it at all."

"It was an embarrassing performance. We didn't compete," said Charlotte's Gerald Wallace, who got into foul trouble. "They did, their confidence got going and they started making shots." @Email:sports@thenational.ae