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Durant was passive for much of the game and didn't attempt a free throw until the closing seconds. He has had just one game without a free-throw attempt since the start of the 2010-11 season.
"I like Kevin to be a playmaker," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. "That is what separates great players from good ones. The 19 shots like tonight are where I like him to be."
The Thunder put together a 7-0 to grab the lead with 8:34 to play. Nick Collison capped the surge with a layup off a pass from Eric Maynor.
Deng snapped the run with his third 3-pointer of the game. Deng entered the contest 1 for 11 from behind the arc. Chicago ranked last in the league in 3-point makes, attempts and percentage, but hit a season-high five 3s in the game.
"Lu provides whatever you need," Thibodeau said. "If you need him to score more, he can do that."
The Thunder responded a six-point run, taking a five-point lead after Ibaka blocked a Deng shot from behind, igniting a fast break and Thabo Sefolosha's layup.
"They are hard to guard," Thibodeau said. "They made some tough plays and closed it out."
Kirk Hinrich scored seven points to lead a third-quarter charge for the Bulls, hitting his second 3-pointer of the game and reaching double figures in scoring for the first time this season. Chicago led 72-66 entering the final period.
The Bulls jumped to an early eight-point lead, but the Thunder closed the opening period with a 9-2 run to tie the game. Durant scored the last six points of the quarter on two dunks and a jump shot.
Ibaka scored 11 points on 5-for-9 shooting in the opening quarter and increased that to 15 by the half, when the Thunder led 48-47.
Jimmy Butler helped Chicago stay close the second quarter, putting up six points, three rebounds and three assists in the period, while playing solid defense on fellow reserve Kevin Martin, who scored 15 points for the Thunder.
Hinrich finished with 12 points.
NOTES: It was a season-high point total for Durant, who entered averaging 20.8 points after scoring a league-best 28.0 points per game last season. Durant had scored at least 25 points in his last seven games against Chicago, but his high in Oklahoma City's first four games was just 23. . The Bulls entered second in the league in defensive points allowed per possession. Chicago hadn't allowed a team to score more than 93 points in any of its first four games. . The teams combined to hit 36 of 39 free throws. It was just the fifth time both the Bulls and their opponent shot at least 88.9 percent from the line since the 1996-97 season.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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