Durant helps Thunder storm to victory over Hawks

OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma (Reuters) - Kevin Durant continued to display the form that has propelled him into this season's All-Star Game with 33 points and 11 rebounds in Oklahoma City Thunder's 106-99 victory over the Atlanta Hawks Tuesday.

The Thunder held a two-point advantage with 4:31 remaining before the 21-year-old Durant scored the next four points to help the home team pull away for a third straight win.

Durant, enjoying a breakthrough campaign in his third NBA season, led his side to victory despite scoring four points less than Hawks All-Star guard Joe Johnson as Atlanta suffered a third defeat in four games.

"We did a good job of getting baskets and getting stops when we needed to," Durant told reporters. "We have to have that focus in the fourth where we execute on both ends. I thought we did a good job of that tonight."

The game was tightly contested throughout the first half but Oklahoma City (27-21) built a 77-64 advantage in the third quarter before a 15-4 spurt in the fourth enabled the Hawks (30-17) to tie the contest and set up an exciting finale.

It was in the closing minutes where Durant imposed his will and continued a scoring run that has produced 25 points or more in 22 straight games.

Having entered the night second in the league scoring at 29.6 points per game, Durant could soon take over the NBA's scoring lead.

Jeff Green added 19 for the Thunder while point guard Russell Westbrook nearly had a triple-double with 12 points, nine assists and nine rebounds.

Equally as important, Oklahoma City made just seven turnovers for the game.

"That was a big key coming in," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. "We knew (Atlanta) was a team that did not turn over the ball so we wanted to make good decisions and keep it simple."

Josh Smith put up 15 points for Atlanta, who have fallen two games behind the Orlando Magic in the Southeast Division.

(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by John O'Brien)