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A Thunder Storm: Cavaliers Are Overwhelmed In Oklahoma

Oklahoma City, OK (Sports Network) – Kevin Durant scored all of his 25 points in the first three quarters, and Oklahoma City rolled to a 106-77 victory over hapless Cleveland.

Jeff Green and James Harden added 19 points apiece in the Thunder’s third straight win, and Russell Westbrook scored 14 with a game-high 11 assists.

Oklahoma City built a 28-point lead with a huge run at the end of the third quarter and was able to sit Durant, Green and the rest of its starters for the final 12 minutes.

“It felt good to get some rest,” said Durant. “We work so hard and we were rewarded tonight.”

Anthony Parker scored 12 points and Daniel Gibson had 11 to lead the Cavaliers, but they were the only players in double figures. Anderson Varejao had a game-high 16 rebounds.

The Cavs shot just 33.8 percent and saw their losing streak reach eight games — the longest skid for Cleveland since LeBron James’ rookie season in 2003-04.

Indeed, Cleveland is a wounded team heading into Wednesday’s rematch with James and the Miami Heat. The Cavs haven’t won since getting pasted by the visiting Heat, 118-90, in James’ return to the city on December 2.

Cleveland head coach Byron Scott said he wasn’t thinking ahead to the Miami game.

“Right now, my biggest concern is those guys in that locker room. I’m not thinking about Miami or the next game, it’s just about getting [my] guys to start understanding a little bit more of what we have to do as a team,” Scott said.

It’s not as if the Cavs had no fight in them Sunday. After trailing by as many as 22 points in the second quarter, they tried to make a game of it.

Cleveland fought back to within nine points when Parker’s jumper with 21 seconds left in the half capped a 12-1 run.

But Westbrook scored the final points of the half, giving Oklahoma City a 56-45 lead at intermission, and the Thunder used a 19-1 run at the end of the third quarter to put the game away.

Durant scored seven of the 19 points and Eric Maynor capped the surge with a three-pointer at the buzzer to give Oklahoma City an 86-58 lead going into the fourth.

Harden made two free throws at the beginning of the quarter, pushing the run to 21-1 for a 30-point lead. Cleveland was never closer than 25 after that, while the Thunder led by as many as 31 in the late stages despite playing only their reserves.

“Everybody was participating and got involved in the game offensively,” said Thunder head coach Scott Brooks. “I thought we displayed good energy throughout the game.”

Oklahoma City snapped a four-game losing streak to the Cavaliers, but those setbacks all came against the James-led team…The Thunder shot 53 percent from the field, made seven three-pointers and forced 17 turnovers.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.