Published January 18, 2014
Oklahoma City, OK (SportsNetwork.com) - Friday's meeting between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Golden State Warriors didn't come down to a buzzer-beater, but there were still plenty of fireworks.
Kevin Durant made sure of it.
Durant had a career-high 54 points and the Thunder defeated the Warriors 127-121 on Friday night.
"Some nights, I've got to put it up, I've got to score. Some nights, I've got to do other things. Tonight, they found me and I was able to hit a few shots," Durant said.
Durant, who made 10 of his first 11 shots and tallied 29 first-half points, finished 19-of-28 from the field and 5-of-9 from beyond the arc.
His 54-point effort came nearly a year after he netted his previous career- high of 52 points against the Dallas Mavericks on Jan. 18.
"You can play great defense and he can have numbers, you can play bad defense and he can struggle," Warriors head coach Mark Jackson said of Durant. "He hit some tough shots."
The first two meetings between the squads were decided in the final seconds.
Andre Iguodala's fadeaway right baseline jumper at the buzzer lifted the Warriors to a 116-115 win over the Thunder on Nov. 4, while Russell Westbrook's go-ahead 3-pointer with 0.1 seconds remaining in overtime lifted Oklahoma City past Golden State, 113-112, on Nov. 29.
Serge Ibaka recorded 21 points and eight rebounds, while Reggie Jackson added 14 points and six assists for the Thunder, who have won three of their last four games.
Stephen Curry tallied 37 points and 11 assists and Klay Thompson netted 26 points for Golden State, which has dropped three of its last four on the heels of a 10-game winning streak.
Durant nailed three 3-pointers and scored 11 points in 1:47 for the Thunder during the middle stages of the fourth to help OKC turn a nine-point advantage to a 17-point bulge.
His turnaround jumper over the outstretched arms of Draymond Green along the right wing tied his career-high and gave OKC a 121-104 cushion with 4:53 left.
Durant set his career high when he sunk a pair of free throws with 2:45 to go for a 123-109 OKC lead.
Earlier, the Thunder led 39-32 after a quarter of play and 71-65 at the break.
Durant was 11-of-14 in the opening half, while Curry registered 22 points and eight assists and Thompson added 21.
OKC took a 101-91 spread into the fourth.
Friday was Durant's third 50-point game ... The Thunder scored 27 points off 17 Golden State turnovers ... OKC shot 58 percent (47-of-81) from the floor ... Kendrick Perkins grabbed 12 rebounds for OKC.