Durant Scores Career-High 52; Thunder Top Mavs 117-114 in OT
Kevin Durant scored a career-high 52 points, including the go-ahead basket with 16.5 seconds left in overtime, and the Oklahoma City Thunder held off a Dallas Mavericks rally for a 117-114 victory Friday night.
By SCHUYLER DIXON
AP Sports Writer
The Thunder, who won their sixth straight, snapped a season-high four-game winning streak for the Mavericks. It was Oklahoma City's second overtime win against Dallas this season.
Mavericks guard O.J. Mayo forced overtime by hitting a 3-pointer with two defenders in his face with 2.3 seconds left in regulation.
Mike James had put Dallas ahead with a 3 pointer in overtime, but his shot from well behind the arc in the final seconds of the extra period fell short.
Russell Westbrook, who scored 31, missed a free throw to give the Mavericks one more chance to tie, but Vince Carter's desperation 3 at the buzzer was short.
Carter led Dallas with a season-high 29 points.
Durant was 13 of 31 from the field and made all 21 free throws in the first 50-point game for an NBA player this season. The Thunder hit 12 freebies in the fourth quarter, but it wasn't enough as Mayo hit the tying 3 after two free throws by Westbrook with 5.9 seconds left.
The Thunder blew a 14-point second-half lead and almost lost for the first time in 28 games when leading after three quarters.
Durant put Oklahoma City ahead 99-98 on a pair of free throws after he was fouled on a drive with 1:32 left. He hit two more after he was fouled following a rebound of a miss by Dirk Nowitzki, and Oklahoma City kept the lead until Mayo's tying 3-pointer.
Dallas had its first chance to tie in the final 15 seconds when Carter went for a dunk and a one-point deficit instead. After Westbrook hit two free throws, Mayo hit the 3-pointer with two defenders jumping at him.
Durant missed a jumper just inside the 3-point line at the regulation buzzer.
The Mavericks, who earlier this season tied an NBA record with their 10th straight overtime loss, fell to 1-8 in overtime games this season.
Nowitzki finished with 18 points after starting 1 of 11 from the field. He scored 12 in the fourth quarter, salvaging his 10th straight double-figure game after scoring in single digits the first four games following his return from missing 27 games after right knee surgery.
The Mavericks trailed 87-79 when Carter hit a free throw and Nowitzki had a tip-in to start a 13-2 run that gave Dallas its first lead since the first quarter. Nowitzki's free throws gave the Mavericks the lead at 90-89 with 6:41 left.
Neither team led by more than three in the final 6 minutes of regulation and overtime.
The Mavericks were within 78-72 when Mayo stole a pass from Durant but missed a layup in the final seconds of the third quarter. Durant quickly had the ball back in his hands and hit a 3-pointer for an 81-72 lead with 2.8 seconds left.
NOTES: Nowitzki was called for a technical foul during a timeout, and Thunder C Kendrick Perkins picked up one when he got in Chris Kaman's face after Perkins was called for a foul for bumping Kaman while they were battling for a rebound. ... Mavericks F Elton Brand recorded the 400th double-double of his career Wednesday against Houston. He had 11 points and 10 rebounds. It was his fourth double-double of the season, and his fifth double-digit scoring game in the past seven. ... Durant will start in the All-Star game Feb. 17 in Houston. His coach, Scott Brooks, won't be in charge. Brooks is ineligible to lead the Western Conference stars because he did it last year. "It was pretty cool to be able to meet some of the players and see how they are off the court," Brooks said. "Whoever gets it will have a great experience in a great city."