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Thunder pull away from Bulls

Chicago,  IL  (SportsNetwork.com) - Kevin  Durant put on another efficient 35- 
point  scoring display  and added  12 rebounds  and five  assists to  lead the 
Oklahoma City Thunder past the Chicago Bulls, 97-85, on Monday. 

Russell Westbrook, who sat out Sunday's 23-point loss to the Mavericks, netted 
17  points and was one rebound and one assist away from a triple-double, while 
Serge Ibaka checked in with 15 points for the victors. 

"Our  transition game is predicated on getting stops. We did a good job making 
them  miss a lot  of shots," said Thunder head coach Scott Brooks, whose group 
held Chicago to 34.5 percent shooting. 

Carlos  Boozer  totaled 12  points and  11 assists  for the Bulls, who got 16 
points from Taj Gibson and finished their six-game homestand with a 3-3 mark. 

The Bulls,  wearing green jerseys in  honor of St. Patrick's Day, entered the 
fourth  quarter in a 74-67 hole but scored eight straight points following two 
Reggie Jackson free throws to pull within 76-75. 

Unfortunately for the Bulls, their luck stopped there. 

They  had two chances  to take the lead, but Derek Fisher blocked Gibson under 
the basket and Jimmy Butler was off the mark on a 3-point try -- the first and 
second of 11 consecutive misses by Chicago. 

Oklahoma City's subsequent 16-1 run, capped by Ibaka's dagger corner 3-pointer 
with  just  over three  minutes to  play, gave the  Thunder a healthy 16-point 
cushion they did not relinquish. 

Durant  scored  10 points in  the first  quarter, including a step-back jumper 
just before the buzzer to break a 21-21 tie. 

"Durant  is tough to guard," Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau said. "You have to 
guard him with your team." 

A back-and-forth second ended with the Thunder still holding a two-point lead, 
47-45,  and  Durant keyed an  8-0 run midway  through the third that stretched 
Oklahoma City's lead to 69-58. 

                                   Game Notes 

Durant  extended his  consecutive games  streak with  25-or-more points  to 32 
games,  the  longest in the  NBA since  Michael Jordan strung together 25-plus 
points in 40 straight games during the 1986-87 season ... The Thunder improved 
to  6-4 on the second night of a back-to-back ... The Thunder swept the season 
series  and  have won five  straight meetings  ... Oklahoma City shot 13-of-25 
from behind the arc. 

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