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Thunder leaves Bulls in dust

– Kevin Durant finished with 35 points and 12 rebounds, and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Chicago Bulls 97-85 on Monday night.

Russell Westbrook added 17 points after sitting out the previous day to rest his surgically repaired knee, and the Thunder rebounded from their most lopsided loss of the season.

They went on a 13-point run after the Bulls scored eight straight early in the fourth to cut the lead to one and pulled this one out after falling by 23 at home to Dallas on Sunday.

Durant ran his streak of games with 25 or more points to 32, the longest in the NBA since Michael Jordan did it in 40 in a row during the 1986-87 season.

Durant also chipped in with five assists.

Westbrook had nine rebounds and nine assists, although he did struggle from the field. He was 5 of 14, and the Thunder got by despite shooting just 41.3 percent.

The Bulls never found their rhythm, converting just 34.5 percent, and settled for a six-game split on a tough homestand that included wins over defending champion Miami and Houston.

Joakim Noah, who has been hearing “MVP!” chants lately, had a rather quiet night, although he just missed his fourth triple-double of the season.

He shot just 2 of 8 but finished with nine points, 12 rebounds and nine assists.

Taj Gibson had 16 points and seven rebounds. Jimmy Butler scored 13, and Carlos Boozer chipped in with 12 points and 11 rebounds, but the Bulls came up short.

The Thunder were leading by nine early in the fourth when the Bulls scored eight straight points, cutting it to 76-75 with about 10 minutes remaining.

The Thunder responded by scoring 13 straight to put this one away.

NETS 108, SUNS 95: In New York, Deron Williams scored 28 points and even dunked for the first time this season as Brooklyn extended its home winning streak to nine.

Markieff Morris scored 18 points and Gerald Green 17 for the Suns.

HAWKS 97, BOBCATS 83: In Charlotte, N.C., Paul Millsap scored 28 points, and Atlanta snapped Charlotte’s eight-game home winning streak.

It was Atlanta’s 11th straight win over Charlotte. The Hawks have won four straight, pulling within 1 1/2 games of the Bobcats for the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

ROCKETS 124, JAZZ 86: In Houston, Terrence Jones scored 30 points and Houston ended a three-game skid with its most lopsided victory of the season.

The Rockets played without Dwight Howard (ankle strain) for the first time this season.

Derrick Favors had 15 points for the Jazz, a night after scoring a career-high 28.

MAVERICKS 94, CELTICS 89: In Dallas, Dirk Nowitzki led another balanced scoring effort with 19 points, and Dallas opened a franchise-record eight-game homestand by holding on against Boston,

Jerryd Bayless had 19 points and Kris Humphries matched a season high with 14 rebounds for the Celtics, who lost their fifth straight game and 12th in the past 15.