PHILADELPHIA – Kevin Durant went from a game off to a game to remember.
Durant had 32 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists in his return from a shoulder injury to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to their seventh straight win, a 103-91 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday night.
Durant was scratched from the Thunder’s win over Boston on Friday with a sprained right shoulder. Against the Sixers, Durant was one of the first Thunder players to hit the court for pregame warmups. He dunked several times, even hanging on the rim for several seconds after one, and was fit to play.
“I hate sitting out,” Durant said, “but it was best for me and my shoulder. I guess that day off was needed.”
Durant and the Thunder let the Sixers hang around before putting the finishing touches on their ninth straight win over Philadelphia. The Sixers trimmed Oklahoma City’s lead to four in the third quarter before Durant keyed a 14-5 run to open up a comfortable lead.
Durant, the NBA’s leading scorer, has scored at least 30 points in his last 10 games.
Serge Ibaka had 25 points and 11 rebounds for the Thunder.
James Anderson led the Sixers with 19 points. Thaddeus Young had 13 points, 10 rebounds and eight steals.
Oklahoma City has managed to stay atop the West with Russell Westbrook out since Christmas recovering from right knee surgery. The Thunder entered the night with the best record in the Western Conference, one-half game ahead of the San Antonio Spurs.
Without Durant, the Thunder still managed to beat Boston 101-83 on Friday night. With him, they had enough to pull away from a plucky Sixers team that already has wins over Miami, Chicago and Portland this season.
“We will do our best with some basic things to guard him,” Sixers coach Brett Brown said before the game.
Clippers 126, Raptors 118
In Toronto, Jamal Crawford had a season-high 37 points and 11 assists, and Los Angeles overcame Terrence Ross’ 51 points to beat the Raptors.
Nuggets 109, Pacers 96
In Denver, Wilson Chandler scored a season-high 25 points and the Nuggets snapped a three-game losing streak with a victory over Indiana.
Trail Blazers 115, T-Wolves 104
In Portland, LaMarcus Aldridge scored 21 points in a showdown with Kevin Love that didn’t live up to expectations.
Bulls 89, Bobcats 87
In Charlotte, D.J. Augustin scored 15 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter and Chicago held off the Bobcats to get back above .500.
Grizzlies 99, Rockets 81
In Memphis, Mike Conley scored 17 points and Zach Randolph had 15 points and 17 rebounds as the Grizzlies beat Houston for the second consecutive night.
Jazz 104, Wizards 101
In Salt Lake City, Enes Kanter scored 24 points and Gordon Hayward hit two free throws with 2.6 seconds left.
Hawks 112, Bucks 87
In Milwaukee, Paul Millsap scored 20 points to lead six teammates in double figures and key the decisive surge that helped Atlanta rebound from a 26-point home loss for the win.