Kevin Durant had 29 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 103-92 victory over the struggling Sacramento Kings on Friday night.
The Thunder took the lead for good midway through the first quarter and went on to their second consecutive victory and fourth in five games.
Oklahoma City (46-17) remained in contention for the best record in the Western Conference. The Thunder are one-half game behind San Antonio and have three games remaining, including Tuesday against the visiting Kings. The Spurs defeated the Lakers at home on Friday.
James Harden had 20 points and Russell Westbrook scored 18 for the Thunder, who have a 7-5 record in April. Serge Ibaka had 12 points and eight of the Thunder's 11 blocks and Kendrick Perkins had 10 points.
DeMarcus Cousins had 18 points and nine rebounds for the Kings, who have lost nine of 10. Tyreke Evans scored 16 points, Jason Thompson added 13, Isaiah Thomas 12 and Jimmer Fredette 11 for the Kings (20-43), who are tied with New Orleans for the worst record in the Western Conference.
The Kings trimmed the Thunder's 15-point lead to eight with 4:30 left in the fourth quarter aided by Fredette's six points. But the Thunder kept their composure down the stretch to maintain the lead and preserve the victory.
At halftime, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson talked about opening the line of communications with the Kings owners regarding plans for a tentative new downtown arena that fell apart last week. Johnson, who has been very critical of the owners' decision, met with the Maloofs in Las Vegas on Friday and will talk sometime again next week.
"I understand a little bit of where George's (Maloof) perspective was," Johnson said. "Not that I fully agree with it, but I fully understand his perspective. It (today) was a solid step forward."
It's been another difficult season for the Kings both on and off the court. Besides the arena plan seemingly derailed, Sacramento has experienced its sixth straight losing season.
Durant made all three shots in the third quarter, including two 3s, and had eight points to help the Thunder lead 81-70 after three.
After Thomas' 3-pointer pulled the Kings within three points, the Thunder ran off eight straight points. Westbrook banked in a jumper and then knifed through the defense for a layup. Two free throws by Harden put the Thunder up 75-64 at the 4:39 mark.
Sacramento played the game without leading scorer Marcus Thornton, who suffered a left quad contusion in Wednesday's game against San Antonio.
Notes: To commemorate the 50th anniversary of his triple-double season, the Kings honored Oscar Robertson in a halftime ceremony. Robertson, who played for the franchise when it was the Cincinnati Royals, averaged 30.8 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 11.4 assists in 1961-62, the only triple-double season in NBA history. Thomas was given the annual Oscar Robertson Triple-Double award, which signifies excellence both on and off the court. . Trailing by seven points in the game's first 5 minutes, the Thunder outscored the Kings 22-6 the remainder of the period to take a 32-23 lead into the second. . Angered over some non-calls following a flurry of blocked shots by the Thunder late in the second quarter, Kings coach Keith Smart got a technical foul. . Kings veteran John Salmons missed his 14th straight game with sore hip and appears unlikely to return this season.