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News » Thunder 109, Bulls 98, OT

Thunder 109, Bulls 98, OT

Thunder 109, Bulls 98, OT
CHICAGO (AP) - It's not often Kevin Durant gets to hear the home fans boo their team when the Oklahoma City Thunder are on the road. So when it happened Saturday night, all he could do was grin.

Durant scored 28 points, Nick Collison added a season-high 21, and the Oklahoma City Thunder rallied to beat the Chicago Bulls 109-98 in overtime Saturday night.

"It felt good, but every win feels good," Durant said. "No matter if you're the best team or the worst team in the league, every win feels good."

And for once, the Thunder had reason to feel good.

Trailing by seven midway through the fourth quarter, Oklahoma City had a chance to win it at the end of regulation. But with the score tied at 94, Durant a missed jumper from the top of the key, and Russell Westbrook missed a tip-in try.

The NBA's worst team then took control, outscoring the Bulls 15-4 in overtime.

Collison's three-point play broke a 96-96 tie with 3:19 left in OT. Earl Watson's steal and layup, and Jeff Green's basket made it a seven-point game, sending the Thunder to just their second road win and sixth victory overall of the season.

"Any win is huge for us," Collison said. "I think everybody knows that, especially a close game like this."

And few would argue that this was a brutal night for the Bulls, who split four games during a soft patch in their schedule.

After losing to Minnesota last week, they squeezed by Sacramento and had to hang on for a 98-86 win over Washington on Friday night. They let the Eastern Conference's worst team trim a 21-point deficit to seven in the fourth quarter.

This time, they were leading the NBA's worst by seven - 88-81 - midway through the fourth after baskets by Andres Nocioni, Drew Gooden and Larry Hughes, only to see it all disappear.

Green hit a pair of free throws with 2:22 left in regulation and added two more with just under 2 minutes remaining to give the Thunder a 93-92 lead. And after Ben Gordon buried a jumper, Collison hit one of two from the line to tie it at 94 with 1:20 left.

From there, both teams missed chances to grab the lead.

Derrick Rose drove and spun in the line, only to have his shot altered by Collison with 22 seconds left, and the reprieve the Bulls got after those misses by Durant and Westbrook was nothing more than temporary.

"Defensively, we just couldn't stop them (in overtime)," said forward Joakim Noah, who threw the ball away after an offensive rebound and got called for an illegal pick on back-to-back possessions in OT. "We turned the ball over a lot. I turned it over once and then they called a foul on a screen. That's two possessions right there. In five minutes, two wasted possessions - that's a lot."

Chicago got 22 points from Gordon, and 20 from Drew Gooden, who also had 12 rebounds. That gave him three straight double-doubles after missing eight games with a sprained ankle.

Rose and Larry Hughes added 16 points apiece, but the Bulls got outrebounded 59-37 and allowed the Thunder to grab 22 on the offensive end. That led to 28 second-chance points and 54 overall in the paint.

"We were not getting a body on people," Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro said. "They were more physical. We did not share the basketball the way need to. ... Their effort was better. That is not acceptable."

Durant, Westbrook and Green were particularly active on the glass, grabbing 12 rebounds apiece, while Collison pulled down nine. Durant also had six turnovers after committing seven the previous night in a two-point loss to Houston.

"I was trying to thread the needle some," he said. "I've got to be stronger with the ball. I try to make it up in other areas, like defense. Luckily, we came out with the win tonight."

Notes: Bulls G Thabo Sefolosha was ill and missed the game after helping hold Washington's Caron Butler to two points. ... F Luol Deng missed his eighth straight game with a sprained left ankle. ... Thunder G Desmond Mason scored 10 points after sitting out the previous game with a lower back contusion. ... G Chucky Atkins, acquired earlier in the week in a trade with Denver, did not play.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: January 11, 2009


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