Durant scores 43 to lift Thunder over Lakers

Posted at 02/14/14 5:14 PM

Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) goes up for a shot defended by Los Angeles Lakers guard Wesley Johnson (11) during the fourth quarter at the Staples Center. Photo by Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGELES - Kevin Durant scored 19 of his 43 points in the fourth quarter on Thursday as Oklahoma City dealt the injury-hit Los Angeles Lakers a franchise-worst seventh straight NBA home defeat.

Durant added 12 rebounds, seven assists and three steals to help the Thunder go into the league's All-Star break on a high note with a 107-103 win.

"It gives us a good feeling going into the break," said Durant, whose Thunder improved to 43-12 and hold a 1 1/2 game lead over Indiana for the best record in the league.

Durant, who was named to his fifth All-Star game, will be the Thunder's lone participant in the mid-season exhibition.

Reggie Jackson added 16 points, Derek Fisher scored 12 and Serge Ibaka finished with 10 points, seven rebounds and five blocks for the Thunder, who have won four straight.

The injury-ravaged Lakers, meanwhile, fell to 18-35, tied with Sacramento for worst record in the Western Conference.

Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni praised his team's effort, but admitted the team was looking forward to the All-Star break as a chance to rest and regroup.

The Lakers won't have a player in the All-Star game in New Orleans on Sunday, a first since the 1995-96 season.

Superstar Kobe Bryant was voted a starter, despite playing only six games this season, but is unable to take part as he recovers from a broken bone in his left knee.

The Lakers' veteran point guard Steve Nash was sidelined Thursday after aggravating the nerve problem in his back that had already caused him to miss 39 games this season.

Spanish big man Pau Gasol, Jodie Meeks, Nick Young, Xavier Henry were also sidelined by injury.

Given the stream of injuries that has bedevilled the team, D'Antoni said his remaining players were coping well with the increased demands on them.

The Lakers led 24-17 after the first quarter and 54-45 at halftime. But D'Antoni said 23 turnovers and too many missed free throws doomed them even more than Durant's late surge.

D'Antoni was delighted that the Lakers limited league-leading scorer Durant to 14-of-33 from the floor.

"That's great defence," D'Antoni said. "Any time he shoots under 50 percent, that's good. He got loose a couple of times, but that's not where we got beat. We got beat turning it over and not making foul shots."

Chris Kaman and Wesley Johnson led six Lakers in double figures with 19 points each.

Kaman also had 10 rebounds and six assists.

Shawne Williams added 15 points and nine rebounds and Kendall Marshall had 14 points and passed out a game-high 17 assists for the Lakers.

"A little bit short," D'Antoni said. "We're looking forward to the break and we'll have four guys at least coming back and that will help a lot."

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