kevin Durant

Russell Westbrook blocked Stephen Curry’s layup, Kevin Durant corralled the ball and dribbled down court. He threw down a soaring dunk at full extension, then pretended to slice his throat and crossed his hands in prayer.

”Kill ‘em and pray for ‘em after the game,” Durant said of his new celebration.

Durant finished with 31 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists to help the Oklahoma City Thunder regain the Western Conference’s best record with a 116-97 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Thursday night.

”It’s nothing against the team I’m playing against,” Durant said of his animated moves, adding that somebody encouraged him to do it following a highlight dunk. ”Come out with a mindset and be friends after the game.”

With Durant leading the way, that’s just what the Thunder did.

Kevin Martin scored 23 points off the bench and Russell Westbrook added 18 points and nine assists for the Thunder, who moved a half-game ahead of idle San Antonio for the top seed. The Spurs split the season series with Oklahoma City, but the Thunder (58-21) own the tiebreaker because of its better conference record…

Curry scored 22 points and reserve Jarrett Jack had 19 points on a night the Warriors lost center Andrew Bogut to another injury. The 7-footer left in the first quarter with a sprained left ankle…

Ibaka finished with 17 points, seven rebounds and three blocks. Durant was 10 for 16 from the floor, helping the Thunder outshoot the Warriors 50.6 to 44 percent.

– Reported by Antonio Gonzalez of the Associated Press