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Thunder, Durant send message to Heat

By Chris Pike
30 January 2014 09:56PM EST

OKLAHOMA City beat the Miami Heat for the first time since the NBA finals of 2012 with Kevin Durant scoring 30-plus points for the 12th straight time to lead the charge for the Thunder.

There were 10 matches in the NBA on Wednesday night with Oklahoma City beating Miami 112-95, Toronto beating Orlando 98-83, Philadelphia downing Boston 95-94, Phoenix defeating Milwaukee 126-117, Minnesota beating New Orleans 88-77 and Houston downing Dallas 117-115.

Charlotte also beat Denver 101-98 while Chicago beat San Antonio 96-86, Memphis beat Sacramento 99-89 and the LA Clippers beat Washington 110-103.

Oklahoma City maintained its position on top of the western conference improving to a 37-10 record on the season with a dominant 17-point win over the two-time defending champion Heat in Miami on Wednesday night.

The win for the Thunder was all the more impressive considering that the Heat got off to a flying start leading 22-4 early on.

From that point, Oklahoma City outscored Miami 108-73 in a dominant performance that was the Thunder's first win over the Heat in seven matches and is also their ninth win overall in-a-row.

Kevin Durant also continued his remarkable scoring run for the Thunder finishing the night with 33 points, seven rebounds and five assists on the back of shooting 12-of-23 from the field and 4-of-9 from three-point territory.

Durant has now scored 30 or more points in 12 straight matches.

Serge Ibaka also added 22 points and eight rebounds for Oklahoma City with Jeremy Lamb scoring 18 points off the bench and Derek Fisher 15.

LeBron James led the way for Miami with 34 points while Chris Bosh added 18 points and nine rebounds, and Dwyane Wade 15 points.

Toronto's impressive recent form continued with the Raptors having no trouble beating the dismal Orlando by 15 points at home to improve to a 24-21 record on the season to sit in third position in the eastern conference.

It was also Toronto's fifth straight victory over the Magic with point guard Kyle Lowry leading the way with 33 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds on the back of 11-of-20 shooting from the field and 6-of-11 from downtown.

Amir Johnson also added 22 points and 11 rebounds for the Raptors with Jonas Valanciunas finishing with 14 points and 15 boards.

Nikola Vucevic top-scored with 16 points and 10 rebounds for Orlando while Jameer Nelson contributed 13 points, Victor Oladipo 12 and Arron Afflalo 10.

Philadelphia moved ahead of Boston in the eastern conference standings with a thrilling one-point victory over the Celtics on the road on Wednesday night.

The Celtics have now just won two games for the entire month of January with their 15 losses to start of 2014 the most they have ever recorded in a month in franchise history.

Spencer Hawes led the way for the 76ers with 20 points and eight rebounds with Evan Turner finishing with 16 points, Thaddeus Young 16, James Anderson 13 and rookie point guard Michael Carter-Williams 10 to go with seven assists, five rebounds and two blocked shots.

Jared Sullinger top-scored for the Celtics with 24 points and 17 rebounds while Jeff Green scored 18 points, Kris Humphries 13, Brandon Bass 11 and Jerryd Bayless 10.

Phoenix is now three games into a four-game road trip and has now won all three so far following a nine-point win over the NBA's worst team Milwaukee on Wednesday night.

Point guard Goran Dragic led the way for the Suns with 30 points, six assists and four rebounds while Gerald Green contributed 23 points, Marcus Morris 16, Channing Frye 13 and Markieff Morris 13.

Milwaukee has still won only one game for 2014 so far despite 27 points from Ersan Ilyasova against the Suns and 24 points and eight assists from Brandon Knight.

Minnesota continued its vastly-improved and more consistent recent form with a fifth win in its last six games defeating New Orleans at home by 11 points.

The Timberwolves have now improved to a 23-22 record on the season but still sit only in 10th position in the western conference standings.

All-Star starter Kevin Love again led the way for the T'Wolves with 30 points, 14 rebounds and five assists with Kevin Martin adding 18 points and six boards.

Dante Cunningham scored 12 points off the bench and JJ Barea 10 to go with six assists.

Al-Farouq Aminu top-scored for the Pelicans with 18 points and 12 rebounds while Eric Gordon contributed 14 points and Tyreke Evans 11 to go with his six rebounds and three assists.

Houston scored its second successive win over a Texas opponent backing up its victory over San Antonio with a two-point triumph in Dallas over the Mavericks on Wednesday night.

The win improves the Rockets to a 31-17 record on the season in fifth position in the western conference.

Chandler Parsons top-scored for Houston with 26 points to go with five assists and four rebounds with centre Dwight Howard adding 21 points and five boards.

Jeremy Lin again had 18 points, seven rebounds and seven assists in the absence of James Harden with Terrence Jones also scoring 16 points, Donatas Motiejunas 12, Patrick Beverly 11 and Aaron Brooks 11.

Dirk Nowitzki did all he physically could to try and get his Mavs over the line and he finished with a huge night scoring 38 points while picking up 17 rebounds and dishing out three assists on the back of shooting 13-of-21 from the field and a perfect 11-of-11 from the free-throw line.

With his 38 points, Nowitzki became just the 13th player in NBA history to score 26,000 points in his career.

Another veteran, Vince Carter also finished with 22 points off the bench for Dallas with Devin Harris scoring 14 points and DeJuan Blair 13.

Charlotte incredibly got to the foul line 29 more times than Denver on Wednesday night and the Bobcats ending up beating the Nuggets by three points largely as a result.

Charlotte has now only lost once in the 20 times this season that it has outscored its opponent in a game at the foul line.

On Wednesday night in Denver, Charlotte shot 30-of-42 from the charity stripe with the Nuggets managing just 11-of-13.

Al Jefferson was the star of the night for the Bobcats finishing with 35 points and 11 rebounds while Gerald Henderson added 16 points, eight rebounds and five assists, and Ramon Sessions 16 points and seven assists.

Randy Foye did all he could for the Nuggets finishing with 33 points and seven assists with Evan Fournier adding 19 points off the bench, and Timofey Mozgov 15 to go with 14 rebounds.

No disrespect to those that did step up, but San Antonio put out a second-rate line-up on Wednesday night at home to Chicago and paid the price with the Bulls winning by 10 points to hand the Spurs a third successive loss for the first time this season.

Manu Ginobili, Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard and Tiago Splitter all didn’t play for San Antonio with Jeff Ayers, Nando De Colo and Othyus Jeffers moving into the starting line-up along with veterans Tim Duncan and Tony Parker.

Chicago improved to a 23-22 record on the season to be in fifth position in the eastern conference with the victory.

Jimmy Butler top-scored for the Bulls with 19 points with Carlos Boozer adding 16 points (12 rebounds), Taj Gibson 15, DJ Augustin 15 (five assists), Kirk Hinrich 11, Joakim Noah 10 (10 rebounds, eight assists and four blocks) and Mike Dunleavy 10 (six rebounds, three assists).

Parker ended up top-scoring for San Antonio with 20 points and six assists with Duncan finishing with 17 points and 14 rebounds.

Australian guard Patty Mills added 12 points off the bench with Aron Baynes finishing with four points, two rebounds and an assist.

Sacramento remains on the bottom of the western conference dropping another game at home this time to an in-form Memphis who has now won four straight and nine of its last 10 matches.

The Grizzlies now hold a 24-20 record on the season to sit in ninth position in the western conference standings.

Point guard Mike Conley led the way for the Grizzlies against the Kings with 27 points and 10 assists on the back of shooting 8-of-13 from the field and 2-of-4 from three-point range.

Zach Randolph also finished with 18 points and seven rebounds for Memphis with Marc Gasol adding 12 points and Mike Miller 11.

Isaiah Thomas did his best for Sacramento with 24 points and five assists with Rudy Gay also adding 23 points and five assists.

The Wizards weren’t able to replicate their upset win on the road to Golden State at the Staples Centre on Wednesday night with the Clippers ending up seven-point victors at home.

All-Star starter Blake Griffin led the way for the Clippers with 29 points, nine rebounds and four assists with Jamal Crawford adding 21 points, five rebounds and three assists off the bench.

JJ Redick also contributed 20 points for the Clippers with Darren Collison finishing with 16 points and nine assists, and centre DeAndre Jordan 14 points, 17 rebounds and two blocked shots.

Bradley Beal again top-scored for Washington with 20 points while John Wall scored 19 points, Nene 14, Trevor Ariza 13 and Kevin Seraphin 10.

NBA Results Wednesday January 29
Oklahoma City Thunder (37-10) 112 defeated Miami Heat (32-13) 95
Orlando Magic (12-35) 83 lost to Toronto Raptors (24-21) 98
Philadelphia 76ers (15-31) 95 defeated Boston Celtics (15-33) 94
Phoenix Suns (27-18) 126 defeated Milwaukee Bucks (8-37) 117
New Orleans Pelicans (19-26) 77 lost to Minnesota Timberwolves (23-22) 88
Houston Rockets (31-17) 117 defeated Dallas Mavericks (26-21) 115
Charlotte Bobcats (20-27) 101 defeated Denver Nuggets (22-22) 98
Chicago Bulls (23-22) 96 defeated San Antonio Spurs (33-13) 86
Memphis Grizzlies (24-20) 99 defeated Sacramento Kings (15-30) 89
Washington Wizards (22-23) 103 lost to Los Angeles Clippers (33-15) 110

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