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(Thursday, February 13th)
Final Score: Oklahoma City 107, LA Lakers 103
Los Angeles, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Kevin Durant scored 19 of his game-high 43 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 107-103 win over the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center.
Durant added 12 rebounds, seven assists and three steals in the final game prior to the All-Star break for both teams.
"He's 14-for-33 so that's great defense. Anytime he shoots under 50 percent that's good," Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni said of Durant.
Durant, who was named to his fifth All-Star game, will be the Thunder's lone participant this weekend.
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 and finished the first half with an NBA-best 43-12 record.
"You have to give the Lakers credit. They are banged up and still fighting and competing. They were making shots and spacing the floor," said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. "Our defense picked up in the fourth quarter. We found five guys that wanted to play and made them miss some shots."
Chris Kaman and Wesley Johnson led six Lakers players in double figures with 19 points apiece. Kaman also had 10 rebounds and six assists.
Shawne Williams added 15 points and nine rebounds and Kendall Marshall had 14 points and doled out a game-high 17 assists for the Lakers, who have dropped a franchise-worst seven straight games at home.
The Lakers will not have a player in the All-Star game this season for the first time since the 1995-96 campaign. Kobe Bryant was voted a starter, despite playing just six games this season, but is unable to participate due to a knee injury.
Ryan Kelly knocked down a jumper 13 seconds into the fourth quarter to give the Lakers an 85-72 lead, but Durant countered with a deep trey 16 seconds later, igniting a 12-0 run to pulled OKC within one point, 85-84.
Kaman stopped the run with a pair of free throws to make it a three-point game, but Fisher and Durant hit triples around a Durant layup to give OKC a 92-87 lead. It was the Thunder's first lead of the game.
Johnson hit a 3 and Marshall got a tough layup to go with 4:53 showing to knot things up and the teams traded makes until Durant buried a 27-footer with 2:03 left to make it 101-96.
The Lakers managed to pull within a point when Kaman was fouled on a reverse layup, but the big man could not complete the three-point play and Fisher sank a pair at the other end to make it 105-102.
Steve Blake blew past Ibaka on the ensuing possession and was fouled attempting a layup, but split from the charity stripe. Durant was fouled and knocked down both free throws for a four-point cushion and Marshall couldn't get a 3-pointer to go with eight seconds left as the Thunder held on for the victory.
The Lakers opened the game on a 9-2 run. Marshall scored the game's first five points and also dished out two assists on the flurry. The Thunder scored six straight to pull within one, but the Lakers pushed their lead to 22-13 after Marshall canned a 3-pointer with 2:51 to play in the opening session and the hosts led 24-17 after 12 minutes.
OKC pulled within four points, 28-24, with a Fisher jumper 2 1/2 minutes into the second quarter, but LA made it 33-24 moments later. The Lakers eventually pushed their spread to double digits, 37-25 with 7:10 to go.
The Thunder pulled within five, 44-39, after a tomahawk slam from Durant with just over 2 1/2 minutes left in the first half, but the Lakers outscored OKC 10-5 the rest of the way to take a 54-45 lead into the break.
A Williams layup with five minutes left in the third gave the Lakers a 71-57 lead and LA held an 82-72 lead entering the final frame. The Lakers led by as many as 15 in the third quarter.
Durant has 32 games with at least 30 points this season ... OKC improved to 22-8 without Russell Westbrook this season ... The Thunder scored 26 points off 23 Lakers turnovers ... LA had 29 assists on 40 field goals ... Blake finished with 13 points and Jordan Hill had 10 for the Lakers.
02/14 02:29:18 ET