While the Oklahoma City Thunder have had a difficult time adjusting since Russell Westbrook returned, Kevin Durant's big second-half performance put an end to their rare losing streak.
The Thunder hope to build on the effort Sunday night with their seventh straight win over the Charlotte Bobcats, who are looking to avoid their second straight loss during a brutal four-game stretch.
Oklahoma City (43-15) dropped Westbrook's first three games back after he missed 27 due to knee surgery, leaving the club on the cusp of its longest skid since its first season after relocating from Seattle.
Durant, though, scored 30 of his 37 points in the second half of a 113-107 victory over visiting Memphis on Friday. He made 10 of 15 shots and all eight of his free-throw attempts after halftime to help the Thunder hold on after they carried a 16-point lead into the fourth quarter.
'You never take it for granted," said Durant, averaging an NBA-best 31.6 points. "We learned a lesson after losing three in a row. It's tough to swallow, so it's good to get a W.'
The Thunder may be without Thabo Sefolosha after the guard left in the first half Friday with a left calf strain.
Caron Butler may be able to help as he's expected to sign with the team Saturday. The veteran forward averaged 11.0 points and 4.6 rebounds before agreeing to a contract buyout with Milwaukee on Thursday.
Westbrook has been shaking off the rust, totaling 45 points and shooting 15 of 29 in his last two games after scoring a combined 27 and going 6 of 24 from the field in his first two back from injury.
Westbrook missed his first game of his most recent absence when Oklahoma City visited Charlotte on Dec. 27. Durant had 34 points, 12 rebounds and six assists in an 89-85 victory.
The Thunder were held well below their 104.9 season average and shot 8 of 25 from 3-point range in that game, but they've scored 111.3 per game and hit 42.7 percent from beyond the arc in their last three.
The Bobcats (27-31) have given up an average of 92.4 points in the past five games, but allowed San Antonio to make 9 of 20 from 3-point range in a 92-82 road loss Friday.
Charlotte, which had its season-best four-game winning streak snapped, faces Oklahoma City, Miami and Indiana in its next three.
"It can't get much tougher," said guard Kemba Walker, who finished with 11 points after missing 12 of 15 shots Friday.
The Bobcats have shot 37.3 percent over their last three contests. They may be able to get some decent looks against Oklahoma City, which has surrendered 115.3 points in its last three.
Charlotte, however, made 37.5 percent from the field in the December loss, and the most recent matchup in Oklahoma City was certainly one to forget for the Bobcats. They trailed 79-25 early in the third quarter en route to the worst loss in franchise history, 114-69 on Nov. 26, 2012.
The Thunder have won eight of nine all-time meetings in Oklahoma City and six straight overall in the series by an average of 22.2 points.
The Associated Press News Service
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