Oklahoma City at Atlanta

Thunder keep dominating East clubs, take down Hawks

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ATLANTA -- With Kevin Durant guarded tightly, Jeff Green knew he could give Oklahoma City its best chance to pad a slim lead.

"It was a play drawn up for Kevin, but Atlanta did a tremendous job in denying the ball to him," Green said, "so I just made the play."

Durant scored 29 points, Green had 15 points and 11 rebounds, and the Thunder ended the Atlanta Hawks' three-game winning streak with a 94-91 victory Monday.

Green's three-point play made it 94-88 with 12.2 seconds remaining. Dribbling from the top of the right wing, he used his right hand to dunk over Josh Smith's outstretched arms.

"Big-time play," Durant said. "If he had laid it up, Josh Smith is such a great shot-blocker, he'd stop that. That would have been a shot-clock violation."

Durant made his first 14 free-throw attempts before his 15th bounced off the rim in the final seconds. Smith called timeout in mid-air after grabbing the rebound.

Jamal Crawford, who defeated Phoenix with a buzzer-beating, 3-pointer on Friday, missed a straightaway 3 as time expired.

"It shouldn't have come down to that," Crawford said. "We should've won the game earlier."

Oklahoma City improved to 15-4 against the Eastern Conference.

Joe Johnson scored 23 points for Atlanta, which had won five of six. The Hawks shot just 6 for 23 in the fourth quarter, including Crawford's 0-for-6 performance.

"It was like the rim had a lid on it," Crawford said. "The shots just wouldn't go down for us."

Durant, whose 29.1 scoring average ranks third in the NBA, didn't score 30 points for the first time in six games. He was hardly concerned, focusing instead on Oklahoma City's ability to prevent the Hawks from getting clear looks at the basket.

"Of course making shots is good, but if we can come back and get the stop, that means we're in the game," Durant said. "I think we got stops when we needed them and we scored as well. It's easy to play defense when you've got guys behind you who are going to help you out."

Though Smith's three-point play forced an 88-88 tie with 2:48 remaining, Atlanta never led after Russell Westbrook's jumper put the Thunder ahead 16-15 with 5:09 left in the first.

Smith, who finished with 18 points and 12 rebounds, blamed himself for failing to get better position on Green's three-point play.

"I reached in and he kind of took my balance from me," Smith said. "I had to contest the shot, but I knew was going to make it because he can palm the basketball extremely well, and he had a step on me."

Johnson blamed the Hawks for lacking intensity before the game began.

"We did come out a little lackadaisical and thought we would turn it on and off," Johnson said. "In the second half, we thought we would pick it up, but we never did."

Green gave the Thunder their biggest lead at 15 when his two free throws made it 69-54 midway through the third. But it his three-point play near the end made a bigger difference.

"After [Durant] couldn't get the ball, I didn't want to force it to him," Green said. "I know I'm capable of putting the ball on the floor. I just wanted to make a play."

Notes

  • Thunder C Nick Collison missed the game with a mild concussion.
  • Atlanta C Zaza Pachulia had four points and nine rebounds in 15 minutes after missing two games with the flu.
  • Oklahoma City improved to 19-6 overall and 7-1 on the road, when leading after three quarters.
  • The Hawks dropped to 3-10, including 1-3 at home, when entering the fourth with a deficit.
  • Atlanta has dropped six of seven at home against the Thunder, who left Seattle and changed their name from SuperSonics before last season.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
 
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Josh Smith and the Hawks have no answers for Kevin Durant, who nets 29 points.  (Getty Images)
Josh Smith and the Hawks have no answers for Kevin Durant, who nets 29 points. (Getty Images)

Scoreboard
Oklahoma City (23-18) «2923271594
Atlanta (26-14) 2227261691
OKC:K. Durant 29 Pts
OKC:J. Green 11 Reb
OKC:R. Westbrook 9 Ast
ATL:J. Johnson 23 Pts
ATL:J. Smith 12 Reb
ATL:J. Smith 7 Ast
Players of the Game
AtlantaOklahoma City

J. Smith

K. Durant
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
181272955
Oklahoma City
K. Durant, SF387-1814-1555029
J. Green, PF385-134-5111115
N. Krstic, C387-112-471216
R. Westbrook, PG323-92-24928
T. Sefolosha, SF253-30-05217
S. Ibaka, PF243-60-010036
J. Harden, SG235-110-040311
E. Maynor, PG161-50-01422
B. Mullens, C60-00-01030
E. Thomas, CDid Not Play
N. Collison, PFDid Not Play
K. Ollie, PGDid Not Play
K. Weaver, SGDid Not Play
D. White, PFDid Not Play
Totals 34-7622-2648221794
 44.7%84.6% 
Atlanta
J. Johnson, SG4510-233-315323
J. Smith, SF436-116-6127318
A. Horford, C336-121-2104513
M. Bibby, PG285-100-024312
M. Williams, PF213-71-22027
J. Crawford, SG304-142-536112
Z. Pachulia, C152-80-19014
M. Evans, SF80-20-00020
M. West, SG70-00-02110
J. Smith, PF50-12-23002
J. Teague, PG40-20-00000
J. Collins, CDid Not Play
R. Morris, CDid Not Play
Totals 36-9015-2144272191
 40.0%71.4% 
Other Games
Det 91 Final
NY 99
Port 92 Final
Wash 97
Sac 103 Final
Char 105
Mil 98 Final
Hou 101
SA 97 Final
NO 90
NJ 95 Final
LAC 106
Phi 103 Final
Min 108
Chi 97 Final
GS 114
Pho 118 Final
Mem 125
Dal 99 Final
Bos 90
Orl 92 Final
LAL 98