Durant spearheads win over Heat


MIAMI, March 17 – NBA scoring leader Kevin Durant poured in 29 points and Russell Westbrook added 18 to spark Oklahoma City past the Miami Heat 96-85 on Wednesday for their fifth victory in a row.Durant, who had seven rebounds and six assists, had never played on a team that had beaten a side led by LeBron James in seven prior tries, but he played down the one-on-one matchup between two star NBA playmakers.

"It was a great win for all of us on this side," Durant said. "My teammates always put me in great position to score. I always have to keep pushing."

The Heat, who saw a three-game win streak snapped, shot only 38.5 percent from the field despite 21 points and 11 rebounds from Chris Bosh, 21 points from Dwyane Wade and 19 points from James.

"We were able to keep their shots from outside and it was a big win for us," Durant said.

The Thunder’s eighth victory in nine games also included 12 points off the bench from James Harden.

Oklahoma City improved to 44-23, fourth overall in the Western Conference and 3 1/2 games ahead of Denver in the Northwest division.

Miami slid to 46-22, third in the Eastern Conference and three games behind Boston and Chicago in the fight for a home-court edge and seeding advantage in the NBA playoffs that begin next month.

The Heat are winless in three games each against Boston and Chicago this season.