Channel NewsAsia

Basketball: Durant dominates as Thunder beat Blazers

Kevin Durant topped 30 points for the eighth consecutive game to lift the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 105-97 win in a battle for first place in the NBA's Northwest Division.

OKLAHOMA CITY: Kevin Durant topped 30 points for the eighth consecutive game to lift the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 105-97 win in a battle for first place in the NBA's Northwest Division.

Durant scored 12 of his 46 points in the final three and a half minutes on Tuesday to give the Thunder a one-game lead over the Trail Blazers for top spot in the standings.

The red-hot Durant shot 17-of-25 from the field and drained six-of-seven three pointers for Oklahoma City in front of a crowd of 18,203 at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.

Durant, who is fresh of winning Western Conference player of the week honours, has been on a roll since teammate Russell Westbrook went down with an injury.

The 25-year-old Durant has scored 30 or more points in eight straight National Basketball Association contests. The Thunder have nine wins and five losses since Westbrook underwent surgery on his knee.

Oklahoma City were well rested heading into the game, having not played since a 108-90 win Sunday over Sacramento.

Reggie Jackson finished with 15 points and seven rebounds for Oklahoma City, which trails San Antonio for the top spot in the Western Conference. Serge Ibaka and Derek Fisher each had 10 points.

LaMarcus Aldridge collected 29 points and 16 rebounds for the Blazers, who have dropped two straight since a five-game winning streak. Wesley Matthews scored 21 points.

Portland led 27-21 after the first quarter and took a 52-51 edge into halftime.

The Thunder outscored the Blazers by a 26-23 margin in the third to take a 77-75 lead into the fourth.

This was the first time in three contests the Thunder have beat the Blazers. Portland won the other two including one on New Year's Eve in Oklahoma.

This was the second tough outing in a row for the Blazers, who were bashed 126-113 by Houston on Monday.

Their three-point specialist Damian Lillard missed all five of his attempts from beyond the arc Tuesday. Lillard has made a league leading 131 three pointers.

Tweet Photos, Videos and Update on this Story to  #cna