OKLAHOMA CITY – Sacramento coach Michael Malone said Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant wouldn’t score 54 points against his Kings, as he did against Golden State two nights earlier.
Malone was correct, but that didn’t help much.
Durant scored 30 points and embraced a role as a facilitator by finishing with nine assists to lead the Thunder past Sacramento 108-93 on Sunday night.
Isaiah Thomas of the Kings was the game’s leading scorer, pouring in a career-high 38 points. The former Washington Huskies standout made 11 of 18 shots from the field, including 4 of 8 three-pointers, and added a team-high six assists.
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Thomas had 27 points in the first half.
“He got hot,” Durant said. “He hit a lot of threes. He got to the foul line a lot. He was coming down, pulling up. I think our pick-and-roll defense was a lot better in the second half, making him drive a little more, forcing him to our bigs.”
Durant made 10 of 15 shots and extended his streak of games with at least 30 points to seven.
“My teammates were setting screens for me,” Durant said. “We were seeing something in pick-and-roll. Serge (Ibaka) was doing a great job of slipping out of it and knocking down shots.
“I was trying to be aggressive and put pressure on the rim and the defense and if they draw in, I kick it out and if not, I try to lay the ball in, take a good shot.”
Oklahoma City improved to 8-5 without All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook since he had surgery on his right knee last month.
Sacramento center DeMarcus Cousins praised the Thunder but added, “I think we did a terrible job defensively of guarding those guys tonight. We made it easy for them to run their sets.”
• Arron Afflalo had 20 points and 13 rebounds to help host Orlando end a season-high,10-game losing streak with a 93-91 victory over Boston.
Tobias Harris of the Magic snapped a 91-all tie by making two free throws with 10.1 seconds left.
• Nick Young returned from a one-game suspension to score 29 points and the Los Angeles Lakers beat host Toronto 112-106.
Young was suspended for Friday’s victory at Boston after he was ejected for throwing a punch at Phoenix’s Goran Dragic in a game Wednesday.
• Patty Mills had 20 points to help San Antonio rout visiting Milwaukee 110-82. The Bucks have lost nine in a row.
• Channing Frye scored a season-high 30 points before sitting out the final 9½ minutes of host Phoenix’s 117-103 victory over Denver.
• Charlotte point guard Kemba Walker is expected to miss 10 to 14 days with a sprained left ankle suffered in Saturday night’s 104-96 overtime loss to Miami.
• Indiana forward David West has been fined $15,000 for elbowing Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers in the jaw Saturday. West was ejected from the game, a 106-92 Pacers victory.