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03/31/2013 12:52 AM EDT
Durant, Westbrook lead Thunder past Bucks, 109-99
OKLAHOMA CITY 109, MILWAUKEE 99

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Down five early in the fourth quarter, it was
time for the Oklahoma City Thunder to take pride in their
defense.



They did just that.



Kevin Durant scored 30 points and Russell Westbrook had a
triple-double to lead the Thunder to a 109-99 victory over the
Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday night.



The Thunder used a 19-2 run in the fourth quarter for their
fourth win in five games. Instead of their top-scoring offense
being the reason for that game-clinching run, it was the defense
that got the final charge going.



"I told them we had to take some pride in our defensive
possessions," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. "It was an
individual effort by a lot of guys. Serge Ibaka did a phenomenal
job protecting the basket and blocking and altering their shots.
Russell and Kevin did a good job defending their players."



They did more than just a good job.



Milwaukee held a five-point lead early in the fourth quarter.
The Bucks would only manage to score seven points down the
stretch and commit six turnovers. In addition, the Bucks' best
offensive weapon, Monta Ellis, was held to just nine points.



The Thunder are two games back of the San Antonio Spurs for the
top spot in the Western Conference playoff race.



"We just put our defense mentality to be aggressive and try to
score off our defense," Ibaka said



Westbrook finished with 23 points, 10 assists and 13 rebounds.
Kevin Martin added 17 points.



Durant shot 10 of 19 from the field and 9 of 10 from the free
throw line in becoming the seventh player this season to score
30 points against the Bucks.



Durant is on pace to join Larry Bird in 1986-87 as the only
players to average more than 28 points while shooting over 50
percent from the field, 90 percent from the line and 40 percent
from 3-point range.



Ersan Ilyasova had 29 points and 14 rebounds for Milwaukee. Epke
Udoh had his first career double-double with 14 points and 10
rebounds.



Milwaukee has lost five of its last six and missed a chance to
gain ground on the idle Boston Celtics in the East. Milwaukee is
now three games back of the Celtics for the seventh seed.



The Bucks battled back from a horrible first-half shooting
performance to go into the final quarter tied at 83. Milwaukee
hit five 3-pointers in the third to battle back from a 10-point,
first-half deficit.



Marquis Daniels' jumper with 8:39 left gave the Bucks that
five-point lead that would be wiped out by the Thunder's closing
run. Durant put the game out of reach with a 3-pointer with 2:47
remaining to put the Thunder up 10. Durant scored 11 points down
the stretch.



"They took advantage of a couple miscues on our part," Bucks
coach Jim Boylan said. "You can't fault our effort. My guys
played hard."



Oklahoma City made 13 of its first 19 shots to go ahead 32-28 at
the end of the first quarter. The Bucks kept the game tight in
the second quarter until the Thunder went on an 11-2 run to lead
by 11 with 3:28 left in the half. The Thunder went into the
break with a 56-46 lead, with Durant, Westbrook and Martin
combining for 41 points.



"It's just maturity," Westbrook said. "Our team did a great job
of playing our game the right way."



Notes: Oklahoma City is 20-7 against the Eastern Conference. The
Thunder went 12-5 in March, while Milwaukee finished with a 7-9
record. ... Larry Sanders picked up his league-leading 14th
technical foul in the third quarter. ... Former 90's rap star
Vanilla Ice performed at halftime. ... Milwaukee Brewers
All-Stars Ryan Braun and Rickie Weeks were attendance.

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