3/3/2012 7:58:39 AM
The Thunder have the best winning percentage in the league (.806) thanks to a
29-7 record and are riding a seven-game winning streak courtesy of Thursday's
105-102 triumph at Orlando behind Kevin Durant's 38 points, including 18 in
the final stanza. Russell Westbrook added 29 points and 10 assists for the
Thunder, who earned the franchise's first win in Orlando since March 13, 2004.
Oklahoma City had dropped the previous seven games in central Florida, four as
the SuperSonics and three since the team moved to Oklahoma City in 2008. The
Thunder have now won a game in every NBA city.
"All we focused on was trying to make up a point a minute and our guys did
that," said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. "We fight every game, every
possession. That's one of our strengths: we never give up."
James Harden finished with 13 points, five rebounds and five assists off the
bench for Oklahoma City, which is 14-6 away from home and owns a comfortable
lead atop the Northwest Division.
After visiting Atlanta the Thunder will return to OKC for a five-game
homestand versus Dallas, Phoenix, Cleveland, Charlotte and Houston. On the
injury front for the Thunder, Westbrook is questionable tonight with a balky
Atlanta posted just its fifth win in 14 tries with a 99-94 triumph over
Milwaukee on Friday and will close out a four-game homestand tonight.
Vladimir Radmanovic hit a trio of three-pointers in the fourth quarter,
including the eventual game-winner with 11.9 seconds remaining, and Josh Smith
picked up the slack for an injured Joe Johnson with 24 points and 19 rebounds.
Jeff Teague and Jannero Pargo both had 11 points for Atlanta, which is 2-1 on
the homestand and 11-6 as the host.
The Hawks received 32-of-34 fourth-quarter points from their reserves.
"It was a really good effort," said Pargo about the team's effort off the
bench. "I'm not sure if it was the best. We had a lot of games where we were
maybe in games, and we just stayed even. Early in the season we were playing
really good, and just sustaining our effort, but tonight was a really good
Johnson is battling tendinitis in his left knee and missed his third game in
four tries. He also missed the All-Star Game because of the problem and is
expected to be sidelined for tonight's game. Guard Willie Green is battling a
sore back and could also sit versus the Thunder.
After tonight's home game the Hawks will hit the road for six against the
Pacers, Heat, Pistons, Kings, Nuggets and Clippers.
The Hawks have lost four in a row and 15 of 20 meetings with the Thunder, who
are 10-2 in the past 12 encounters in the Peach State.