NBA: Kevin Durant reaches 20,000-point milestone, Minnesota Timberwolves condemn Oklahoma City Thunder to 3rd loss in a row

Kevin Durant (right) became the 44th player in NBA history to score 20,000 career points after finishing with 40 against the Los Angeles Clippers on Jan 10.
Kevin Durant (right) became the 44th player in NBA history to score 20,000 career points after finishing with 40 against the Los Angeles Clippers on Jan 10.PHOTO: REUTERS/USA TODAY SPORTS

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Lou Williams scored a career-high 50 points as the Los Angeles Clippers spoiled a milestone night for Kevin Durant with a 125-106 victory on Wednesday (Jan 10).

Durant became the 44th player in league history to score 20,000 career points, reaching the achievement with a pull-up jump shot late in the second quarter.

National Basketball Association (NBA) Finals MVP Durant needed 25 points to get to 20,000 and that is the number he finished on at the end of the first half.

At age 29, he is the second youngest to do it behind Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James.

"He is one of the all-time greats," said Warriors coach Steve Kerr of Durant, who finished with 40 points. "There is going to be another one (milestone) in a month.

"He's Kevin Durant. The second youngest to do it ... Who is the youngest? LeBron, not bad company."

Williams tallied 27 of his 50 points in the third quarter for the visiting Clippers who beat Golden State for the first time in more than three years.

He also had eight three-pointers and seven assists and rookie Tyrone Wallace came off the bench to score a season-high 22 points.

"It was hard to stop him," Durant said of Williams. "His pull-up three is a cash shot. We were too loose on him and let him go where ever he wanted."

Elsewhere, Jimmy Butler finished with 26 points and eight assists as the Minnesota Timberwolves defeated struggling Oklahoma City 104-88, handing the Thunder their third consecutive loss.

Centre Karl-Anthony Towns tallied 18 points and 12 assists for the Timberwolves, who are playing some of their best basketball of the season and have three straight resounding home wins in a row.

"When we start to compete on the defensive end like that, we are tough to beat," said Butler.

Butler, who is in his first season with Minnesota after coming over from the Chicago Bulls, said he is trying to be one of the veteran leaders on a young team.

"Last year, this team didn't understand how important every possession is," he said. Andrew Wiggins finished with 19 points in 42 minutes of playing time for the Timberwolves.

Thunder star Russell Westbrook had a game-high 38 points and 10 rebounds but he didn't get much help from his supporting cast.

Carmelo Anthony continued to struggle with his new team as he finished with 15 points and one rebound. Paul George was the only other Thunder player in double figures with 13 points as Oklahoma slumped to a fifth loss in their last seven games.

The defeat drops the Thunder to 22-20 on the season and into sixth place, falling behind Portland in the Western Conference standings.

Minnesota is on the rise, having beaten New Orleans Pelicans, Cleveland and now Oklahoma in recent home games thanks to their improving defence and consistently solid offence.