sport

Durant helps Thunder close gap

Kevin Durant led the way as Oklahoma closed to within a game and a half of the San Antonio Spurs at the NBA Western Conference summit.

With Russell Westbrook rested as he continues his patient recovery from knee surgery, Durant was the focal point for OKC and proved as dynamic as ever.

The small forward had 35 points, 11 rebounds and six assists - the 33rd successive game he has scored 25 points or more, a streak unmatched by any NBA player since the great Michael Jordan.

Coach Scott Brooks told nba.com: "Kevin does it every night. His consistency is remarkable."

Durant, though, added: "I just play the game and focus on doing my job every night. But it is cool to be mentioned with guys like (Jordan). I'm just enjoying the ride, though."

Dion Waiters led Cleveland with 30 points.

The Houston Rockets have the fourth-best record in the West and recovered from a sluggish start to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 129-106.

Houston trailed 41-31 when coach Kevin McHale called a time-out early in the second quarter - and saw his team respond with 17 unanswered points to take a lead they were never to relinquish.

James Harden poured in 28 points and Donatas Motiejunas added 20, with five of their team-mates also reaching double figures. Kevin Love scored 29 for the Wolves.

The Portland Trail Blazers and Golden State Warriors also kept up their pursuit with wins over the Washington Wizards and Milwaukee Bucks respectively.

Wesley Matthews scored 28 points as Portland won 116-103 at the Moda Center despite a fine performance from Washington's John Wall, who had 24 points and 14 assists.

The Warriors won 115-110, Steph Curry with 31 points and Klay Thompson 29. David Lee added 22 points and 12 rebounds.