Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Durants scores 42 as Thunder rout Sixers, 125-92

OKLAHOMA CITY _ The spotlight was on Kevin Durant.

Durants scores 42 as Thunder rout Sixers, 125-92

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) shoots between<br />Philadelphia 76ers forward Jarvis Varnado (40) and guard Tony Wroten<br />(8) during the third quarter. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) shoots between Philadelphia 76ers forward Jarvis Varnado (40) and guard Tony Wroten (8) during the third quarter. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

 OKLAHOMA CITY _ The spotlight was on Kevin Durant.

It had to do with his friendly rivalry with LeBron James, and his Oklahoma City Thunder squad hosting the struggling 76ers. Folks wanted to know if the 6-foot-9 swingman would try to top the 61-point performance that James produced on Monday night.

Luckily for the Sixers, he didn't try to. But in the end, it didn't matter.

Durant scored 42 points as the Thunder rolled to a 125-92 victory Tuesday night at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

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The loss dropped the Sixers to 15-46 and extended their losing streak to 15 games. That matched the 15-game span without a win by the Sixers from Feb. 9 to March 11, 1994. They are five losses away from the franchise-record 20 straight defeats rung up by the infamous 1972-73 team.

The Western Conference-leading Thunder (46-15) extended their winning streak to three games.

An inability to stop Durant was part of the problem for the Sixers.

It wasn't quite the dominant performance that James produced Monday in a lopsided victory over the Charlotte Bobcats. But it was just enough for people to remember why Durant _ not James _ is the front-runner for MVP honors.

Layups, three-pointers, foul shots _ name it _ the seven-year veteran did whatever he wanted against the Sixers before sitting out the fourth quarter. Durant scored 21 of his points in the first half.

He shot 14 of 20 from the field and finished with nine rebounds and three assists while being content to play with the flow of the game. Tuesday marked his 26th consecutive game with at least 25 points.

"He takes that size and he has his unselfish mentality and he finds a way to include others," Sixers coach Brett Brown said of Durant. "That's one of the most impressive things in my opinion of him as a superstar, which he is.

"He's an incredible teammate. He plays unselfishly and still finds a way to be elite. That's a hard balance for a lot of great players."

Make that a great player on a towering and deep team.

Four of Oklahoma City's starters were 6-foot-9 or taller. Perry Jones, a 6-11 second-year player, started at shooting guard.

In addition to a height advantage, the Thunder were more athletic and simply a lot better than the tanking Sixers. Oklahoma City had a 37-point lead late in the game.

Russell Westbrook had a triple-double with 13 points, 14 assists, and 10 rebounds to go with three steals. The standout point guard was also constantly yapping at Sixers rookie Michael Carter-Williams, who struggled (4-for-12 shooting, 14 points). Power forward Serge Ibaka added 14 points and three blocked shots for the Thunder. Jones had 12 points and two blocks. Like Durant, Westbrook and Ibaka sat out the fourth quarter.

James Anderson led the Sixers with 20 points. He made 6 of 12 three-pointers.

 

 

 

 

About this blog

Keith Pompey has been an Inquirer reporter since September 2004 and took over the Sixers beat in the summer of 2013 after covering Temple basketball and football for the previous three years.

Marc Narducci has served in a variety of roles with the Inquirer since beginning in 1983. He has covered the 76ers as a backup and a beat writer. In addition, Narducci has covered everything from the Super Bowl to the World Series and a lot in between.

Keith Pompey Inquirer Staff Writer
Marc Narducci Inquirer Staff Writer
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