Kevin Durant scored 35 points, finding his shooting touch after a rough start, and made five free throws in the final minute to shut down a furious, fourth-quarter comeback and give Oklahoma City its 50th win, 102-95, over injury-riddled Cleveland on Thursday night.
Durant missed five of his first six shots but finally got it going. He has scored 25 or more in 33 straight games — the league's longest streak since Michael Jordan did it 40 consecutive times (1986-87).
With the win, the visiting Thunder, which let a 24-point lead dwindle to five in the fourth, moved to within 11/2 games of San Antonio for the best record in the Western Conference. Oklahoma City played without point guard Russell Westbrook, who rested his surgically repaired knee.
Dion Waiters scored 30 and Spencer Hawes 20 for the Cavaliers, who trailed, 95-71, with 6:34 left before going on a 21-2 run to pull within 97-92.
Durant, though, who had reentered with 3:34 to go, made his free throws to end Cleveland's rally.
at Houston 129, Minnesota 106: James Harden had 28 points with eight assists for the Rockets, who trailed by as many as 10 before using a big run in the second quarter to take the lead and padding the advantage with another run to start the third quarter. It was Houston's second straight game without Dwight Howard, who sat out with a strained left ankle. Omer Asik started in his place and filled in ably with a season-high-tying 12 points as the Rockets won for the seventh time in 10 games.
at Portland 116, Washington 103: Wesley Matthews had 28 points, including four three-pointers, and Damian Lillard added 23 points and 10 assists for the Trail Blazers, who are still playing without injured All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge. It was Portland's third victory in its last four games after a four-game losing streak. John Wall had 24 points and 14 assists for the Wizards, who trailed by as many as 17 points in the second half.