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Durant leads Thunder into Portland

10:48 AM, Jan 13, 2013   |    comments
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(Sports Network) - Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant has scored 20-plus points in 12 straight games, averaging 31.3 ppg in that time, and will look to lead his team past the Portland Trail Blazers Sunday at the Rose Garden.

Durant recorded a season-best 42 points on 16-of-25 shooting in a 116-101 road win over the Los Angeles Lakers Friday night. He also had eight rebounds and five assists for Oklahoma City, which opened a three-game road trip on a high note and has won seven of the past nine games.

Russell Westbrook posted a double-double with 27 points and 10 assists, while Kevin Martin added 15 points for the Thunder, who are 10-5 away from home and lead the NBA with 105.7 ppg.

"A great team win for us," Durant said. "My teammates did a good job of getting me the ball. We moved the ball so well which makes it easy for everybody."

The Northwest Division-leading Thunder are scheduled to close out the road swing Monday against the moribund Phoenix Suns in the desert.

Portland hopes to get back on the winning path and extend its nine-game home winning streak against the mighty Thunder.

The Trail Blazers had won four in a row, including a 92-90 triumph over the Miami Heat on Thursday, but dropped a 103-97 decision at Golden State the following night. Rookie Damian Lillard soared in his hometown to the tune of a career-high 37 points, six boards and four assists for Portland.

"I had a game like this in college, but that ended up with a win," Lillard, a native of Oakland, said of his performance. "That's why this is bittersweet."

Lillard set the franchise record for three-pointers made in a game with seven, going 7-for-12 from downtown.

Nicolas Batum had 16 points, while Wesley Matthews and Luke Babbitt netted 10 points apiece in a losing effort. The Blazers, still a dominant 12-4 in the past 16 tries, shot just 38 percent for the game and made only 15-of-43 3- pointers.

Portland is 13-4 in the Rose City, where it is playing eight of 10 games, and last won 10 in a row as the host during a 12-game run from Jan. 24 - March 9, 2009.

The Blazers and Thunder will play the second of four meetings this season and Oklahoma City grabbed a 106-92 victory at home on Nov. 2. Westbrook poured in 32 points and Durant tallied 23 points, 17 rebounds and seven assists in that one for the Thunder, who have won four in a row and seven of the last nine matchups in this series.

Oklahoma City has won two straight, three of four and four of its last six trips to the Pacific Northwest.

The Sports Network

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