Bulls downed by Oklahoma, Clippers beat Portland

Updated: November 9, 2012

Kevin Durant led the way in the fourth quarter for the Thunder as they downed the Bulls 97-91, while the Clippers moved to the top of the Pacific Division in the Western Conference with victory over Portland 103-90.

Jamal Crawford scored 25 points off the bench and the Los Angeles Clippers held off the Portland Trail Blazers, 103-90, on Thursday night.

DeAndre Jordan and Chris Paul added 21 points apiece for the Clippers, who have won two in a row to improve to 4-2 on the young season. Jordan pulled down eight rebounds and Paul dished out six assists.

Nicolas Batum ended with 23 points, nine rebounds and five assists for the Blazers, who have dropped two straight. Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge tallied 16 and 14 points, respectively.

In Chicago, Kevin Durant scored 24 points and led a fourth- quarter surge that propelled the Oklahoma City Thunder to a hard-earned 97-91 win over the Chicago Bulls at the United Center.

Held largely in check by Chicago’s notoriously tough defense for most of the night, the NBA’s three-time defending scoring champion caught fire down the stretch. Durant poured in 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting over the final 6:35 as the Thunder overcame a six-point deficit heading into the fourth quarter to record its second consecutive triumph. Six of his points occurred in the last minute of play.

Serge Ibaka added 21 points and nine rebounds and Russell Westbrook tallied 16 points and 12 assists for an Oklahoma City squad that outscored the Bulls by a 31-19 margin in the fourth quarter.

Luol Deng netted a game-high 27 points and Richard Hamilton finished with 20 for Chicago, but the Bulls shot 26.9 percent from the field over the final 12 minutes en route to their second loss in three tests on a current five-game homestand.

Tonight’s action sees Central Division leaders Milwaukee at Washington, who are still looking for their first win of the season. Brooklyn take on Orlando away while Philadelphia and Boston battle it out for second place in the Atlantic Division.

New York remain the only team unbeaten so far this season, tonight to go 4-0 they will have to beat Dallas at Madison Square Gardens. Carmelo Anthony has been in top form for the Knicks, with a points scoring average of 26, while for Dallas O.J.Mayo with 21.6 has been instrumental in their 4-1 start.

In the South East Division, Miami are away to Atlanta looking to improve their winning streak to 4, while James Harden and the Rockets make the trip to Memphis. Also on the road tonight, Charlotte, Detroit, Indiana, Cleveland and Utah against New Orleans, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Phoenix and Denver respectively.

The Lakers have endured a tough start to the season, and sit bottom of the Pacific Division with only 1 win from 5. They host Golden State who are second in the division, and will hope that their collection of superstars can finally gel and get them on a winning run.

Top of the South West Division San Antonio with a 4-1, are looking to bounce back away to Sacramento who are on a 2 game winning streak.