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Monday, Jan. 24, 2011

Durant sinks game-winner to torpedo Knicks

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) For a few moments, Kevin Durant was in a world by himself. A roaring crowd became silent as the reality of a rare game-winning shot settled in.

News photo
To the hoop: Thunder forward Jeff Green, left, goes up for a shot as Knicks center Ronny Turiaf defends on Saturday in Oklahoma City. AP PHOTO

Durant made a 3-pointer from the right wing as time expired and finished with 30 points to lift the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 101-98 win against the New York Knicks on Saturday night.

"Once I let it go, it felt like everybody went silent," Durant said. "And once it went in, I really couldn't hear too much. I was just looking toward the bench. Once I snapped back into it, I really heard the crowd.

"That's one of the all-time best feelings that I've had so far in this league."

Durant was tightly guarded by Danilo Gallinari but connected while leaning back in front of the Knicks' bench to extend New York's losing streak to six games — matching their longest of the season.

The Thunder hadn't led since the first 2 minutes of the second quarter, but erased a six-point deficit in the final 3 minutes to escape their first three-game losing streak of the season.

"I'd rather get beat by 15 points than get beat like that," said the Knicks' Raymond Felton, who missed three shots in the final 48 seconds to give the Thunder a chance.

"It's always a tough loss when it's a game-winner like that."

Gallinari scored 23 points and Amare Stoudemire had 18 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Knicks. Stoudemire also picked up his 13th technical foul of the season, as part of a double-technical with Oklahoma City's Serge Ibaka in the fourth quarter.

Russell Westbrook scored 28 points and Ibaka had 11 points and 15 rebounds for the Thunder. Durant also had 12 rebounds and distanced himself from a brief shooting slump that materialized during Oklahoma City's back-to-back losses.

Durant had made only one-third of his shots in the Thunder's road losses to the Lakers and Nuggets, then started out 5 for 16 against New York, shaking his head when a 3-point attempt hit the front and back rim before bouncing away.

That's when it all started turning around.

Hornets 96, Spurs 72

In New Orleans, David West had 18 points and 10 rebounds, helping the Hornets earn their eighth consecutive victory and end San Antonio's eight-game winning streak.

Wizards 85, Celtics 83

In Washington, John Wall banked in a 3-pointer with the shot clock running down in the game's final minute, and the Wizards rallied from a 16-point, first-quarter deficit to get the surprising victory.

Heat 120, Raptors 103

In Miami, LeBron James had 38 points and 11 rebounds, Mike Miller scored 22 of his 32 points in the second quarter, and the Heat snapped a four-game slide.

Clippers 113, Warriors 109

In Los Angeles, Blake Griffin hit a go-ahead 3-pointer in the final minute to cap a 30-point effort, tied a career high with 18 rebounds and established another with eight assists.

Mavericks 87, Nets 86

In Newark, N.J., Dirk Nowitzki hit a jumper in the lane with 6 seconds left and Dallas continued its dominance over New Jersey.

Magic 118, Rockets 104

In Houston, Dwight Howard had 22 points and 14 rebounds, Hedo Turkoglu added 21 points and Orlando built a big first-half lead on its way to the easy victory.

Bulls 92, Cavaliers 79

In Chicago, Derrick Rose scored 24 points, helping the Bulls extend the Cavaliers' losing streak to 16 games.

Hawks 103, Bobcats 87

In Charlotte, Joe Johnson scored 32 points and the undermanned but energized Hawks bounced back from a humiliating loss.

Trail Blazers 97, Pacers 92

In Portland, Nicolas Batum hit four straight 3-pointers early in the fourth quarter and the Blazers erased a 16-point deficit.

Pistons 75, Suns 74

In Auburn Hills, Mich., Austin Daye made a go-ahead jumper with 53 seconds left and the Pistons snapped the Suns' five-game winning streak.

76ers 96, Jazz 85

In Philadelphia, Andre Iguodala scored 22 points and Lou Williams added 20.

Grizzlies 94, Bucks 81

In Milwaukee, Marc Gasol had 24 points and 16 rebounds, and Zach Randolph had his 10th straight double-double.

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