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Thunder wins NBA top spot

Afp/Dpa
Thursday, April 18, 2013

OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma — Kevin Durant has led the way as the Oklahoma City Thunder clinched home court advantage throughout the NBA's Western Conference playoffs by beating Sacramento 104-95.

Durant scored 29 points and also had eight assists and seven rebounds as the Thunder completed a sweep of their regular season matches against Sacramento.

"We were just trying to get some deflections and use our length a little bit to get out and score," Durant said. "I think we did a good job of finishing."

Teammate Russell Westbrook finished with 21 points and eight assists, while Serge Ibaka had 14 points, seven rebounds and two blocks.

The Thunder scored 62 points in the paint compared to just 46 for the Kings in front of a crowd of 18,203 at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

Isaiah Thomas was the lone starter to reach double figures for the Kings as he finished with 16.

In Minnesota, Al Jefferson had 22 points and eight rebounds and the visiting Utah Jazz stayed alive in the Western Conference playoff race with a 96-80 road victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The Jazz avoided elimination to move one game behind the idle LA Lakers for the eighth and final playoff spot with Wednesday's regular-season finale to determine their fate.

For the Jazz to qualify, they need to win at Memphis and for the Lakers to lose at home against Houston. That would leave them with identical records but Utah owns the tiebreaker by winning the season series.