MILWAUKEE (AP) — Kevin Durant had 32 points and 12 rebounds, Russell Westbrook posted his 10th triple-double of the season and the Oklahoma City Thunder built a big early lead over the Milwaukee Bucks before holding on for a 104-96 victory on Sunday.
Westbrook finished with 15 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists for the Thunder, who led by 21 with 6 minutes left in the third quarter before nearly getting overrun by the Bucks.
Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo picked up his third triple-double of the season with 26 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists.
Khris Middleton scored 18 points, including 10 straight during a 24-5 run between the third and fourth quarters that drew the Bucks within 84-82 with 11:23 left.
But the Thunder withstood the Bucks from there, holding Milwaukee without a field goal for about a 7-minute stretch of the fourth quarter.
It was a feat for the Bucks to just make it that close again after falling behind 32-12 following a poor-shooting first quarter.
The Bucks went just 3 of 23 from the field over the opening 12 minutes. Some fans booed their hometown team after one timeout.
One of the biggest cheers during the first half was reserved for Houston Texans star and former Wisconsin defensive lineman J.J. Watt, a Milwaukee-area native who had a baseline seat in the front row.
Then the Bucks’ energy picked up in the third quarter.
Middleton was an instigator, hitting two 3s during the run and converting a steal off Durant for a layup near the end of the third quarter that had fans at the Bradley Center buzzing.
The Thunder took momentum back with defense in the fourth quarter, a welcome change after getting outscored by double digits in the fourth quarters of their previous two games.
Thunder: Durant had five turnovers on Sunday after finishing with 15 overall in his previous two games, including nine in a loss to the Warriors on Thursday. … Enes Kanter finished with 18 points and 12 rebounds. … The Thunder are 10-0 this season when Westbrook gets a triple-double and 25-4 all-time.
Bucks: F John Henson missed his 16th straight game with a sore lower back. Coach Jason Kidd said Henson did take a positive step after the forward played some 3-on-3 and took part in some drills in practice on Saturday. … G Michael Carter-Williams missed his fourth straight game. The team added a sore left hip to the injury report for Carter-Williams on Friday, to go with left knee tendinitis. … Antetokounmpo became the first Milwaukee player to have three triple-doubles in a season since Alvin Robertson in 1990-91.
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