Kevin Durant leads Thunder to seventh straight victory

OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma (Reuters) - Kevin Durant extended his impressive scoring streak with another 25-point haul as the Oklahoma City Thunder won for the seventh time in a row, a 99-86 triumph over the revamped Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday.

Fresh from participating in his first All-Star game, Durant racked up 25 points for a 26th straight game, the longest such run since Allen Iverson completed the feat for 27 successive games in the 2000-01 season.

The third-year forward top all scorers despite shooting a mediocre 9-for-28 from the field, but also contributed a game-high 14 rebounds.

"My team mates did a great job of picking me up when my shots weren't falling," Durant told reporters. "The important thing is we got the win."

The Thunder spoiled the debut of Dallas's new acquisitions after the team traded for high-scoring forward Caron Butler, center Brendan Haywood and reserve DeShawn Stevenson during the All-Star weekend.

However, the reinforcements could not prevent the Mavericks (32-21) from suffering a sixth loss in their last eight games.

Butler made just 4-of-16 shots and had 13 points while Dirk Nowitzki paced Dallas with 24. As a team, the Mavericks shot a season-low 32 percent and were never in contention once they fell behind in the second half.


"We didn't make shots," Mavericks point guard Jason Kidd said. "I think we started pressing. It just didn't work out."

Point guard Russell Westbrook recorded 17 points, eight assists and six rebounds to go with 17 each from forward Jeff Green and reserve James Harden.

The Thunder started slowly and were 10 points adrift after the first quarter but erupted for 40 points in the second to take a 56-54 halftime advantage.

After under-achieving for several years, the youthful squad is in the thick of the Western Conference playoff mix while extending their longest win streak since 2004, when the franchise was located in Seattle.

Meanwhile, Mavericks center Erick Dampier exited the game with less than three minutes left due to a dislocated finger that could force him out for several games.

His absence will put extra pressure on new big man Haywood, who had seven points and six rebounds in his first outing with Dallas.

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