OKLAHOMA CITY – Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder put on one of their best shooting displays of the season Thursday night — and their fans seem to be following the team’s cue.
Durant scored 28 points and the Thunder made 51.9 percent in beating the Los Angeles Clippers 105-91. But that pales in comparison to what Oklahoma City fans are shooting this week during a second-quarter promotion at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
For the second straight game, and the fifth time during the 2013 calendar year, a Thunder fan hit a half-court heave to win $20,000 in a contest sponsored by MidFirst Bank.
Brad Brucker, a 33-year-old business teacher at Piedmont High School, made the money shot two days after another fan, Cameron Rodriguez, hit from midcourt in a win over Denver.
As Brucker left the floor, he was greeted and congratulated by recording stars Beyonce and Jay-Z, who watched from courtside seats next to Durant’s family.
Brucker said the experience “didn’t feel real.”
Durant joked after the game that “we might go broke after these guys, they’re hitting every half-court shot.” But he added it was fun watching fans hit those shots.
Durant also enjoyed watching the Thunder post their second-best shooting outing of the season and lead all the way against Los Angeles in a matchup of Western Conference powers.
Oklahoma City has won its first five home games of the season for the first time since 2004-05, when the franchise was in Seattle.
Durant also had eight assists. Serge Ibaka added 17 points and three blocked shots.
“I thought that was probably as well as we can execute a game plan and execute on both ends of the floor, on offense and defense in the second half,” Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks said. “Seventeen assists and five turnovers in the second half, and we made them miss a lot of shots. I thought we played good throughout the game, but really did a great job in the second half.”
Nuggets 97, Bulls 87
In Denver, Nate Robinson and Jordan Hamilton each hit back-to-back 3-pointers to start the fourth quarter, helping the Nuggets pull away for a victory against Chicago.
Hamilton finished with 17 points to lead the Nuggets, who won their seventh straight against the Bulls at the Pepsi Center. J.J. Hickson had 14 points, Kenneth Faried had 12 points and 11 rebounds, and Randy Foye also scored 12 points.
Derrick Rose had 19 points for the Bulls, who snapped a five-game winning streak.