Durant, Thunder plaster PistonsJan 17, 2009 - 4:54 AM OKLAHOMA CITY (Ticker) -- Call them the rolling Thunder.
The Oklahoma City Thunder stormed past the dismal Detroit Pistons, 89-79, on Friday.
The resurgent Thunder have taken five of their last nine and have their first back-to-back wins of the seasons.
The Pistons, meanwhile, lost their fourth straight as they struggle to find balance with Allen Iverson.
"I don't know what the problem is," Iverson said. "With a roster like ours, we shouldn't be playing this bad, or losing to teams like them."
Kevin Durant keyed the Thunder's attack with 32 points on 14-of-20 shooting. A layup and jumper by Durant were key during a 15-0 run bridging the third and fourth quarters that opened an 84-67 advantage.
"I just wanted to get to the basket," Durant said. "Mid-range, threes, layups, whatever they need me to do win. My teammates did a great job of finding me in space to make good things happen."
Antonio McDyess' jumper broke the run with 6:13 left in the quarter but it was far too little, far too late. Chris Wilcox, who had 17 points and 11 rebounds, ended any hopes of a comeback with a pair of dunks to counteract the Pistons' 6-0 run.
"It was good to get in there and contribute," said Wilcox, whose minutes increased due to Thunder reserves Nick Collison (illness) and Joe Smith (left knee) not dressing. "I hadn't played much in the last couple games, and I knew that this was a great chance for me to come in and prove to everyone in this locker room that I can contribute in a big way."
The Thunder played only eight players and still managed to outscore the Pistons' bench, 24-14. They enjoyed a 14-5 edge on the offensive boards en route to an overall rebounding advantage of 52-35. Oklahoma City shot 20 free throws, hitting 15, while the Pistons made only 3-of-8 attempts.
"Our guys are at a point where they know what is needed of them, especially our bench," Thunder interim coach Scott Brooks said. "They brought the right amount of energy and smart basketball that built us a lead and made huge plays down to the end."
Rip Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince led Detroit with 18 points apiece. Prince missed a few minutes after straining his groin in the second half but returned in the fourth quarter.
Iverson scored 14 points, while backcourt mate Rodney Stuckey shot 1-of-10 and scored just three.
"Tonight was one of those nights we should have been able to come out and just play ball," Prince said. "When we ran, we did good, but in our halfcourt set we couldn't get out of the mud. We just sat there spinning our tires."
Detroit has lost four games in a row for the first time since the 2004-05 season.
A halftime show went awry as magician Kristen Johnson attempted to escape from a sealed water chamber and need help from her assistants. Between the third and fourth quarters, she was shown on the scoreboard, waved to the crowd and apparently is OK.
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