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Thursday, Feb. 9, 2012

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Hang time: Boston's Brandon Bass dunks during the Celtics' 94-84 win over the Bobcats on Tuesday. AP

Durant shoots Thunder past Warriors


OAKLAND, California — Kevin Durant is starting to form a collection of game-winning shots.

For the latest addition, the lanky forward hit a go-ahead bank shot with 14.2 seconds remaining and the NBA-leading Oklahoma City Thunder overcame career performances by Monta Ellis and David Lee to beat the Golden State Warriors 119-116 on Tuesday night.

"I don't think he called bank," Warriors coach Mark Jackson said.

No need.

The NBA's two-time scoring leader has shook up defenders every which way this season and is making a strong case for his first MVP award. Durant also had a buzzer-beating 3-pointer against Dallas on Dec. 29 and a dunk with 2.9 seconds left in an overtime victory Monday night at Portland.

"It's one of those things where you shoot it and you're like, 'Aw, that's a terrible shot,' " Durant said of his game-winner. "When it went in, I was kind of surprised."

He might've been the only one.

Durant finished with 33 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists, and Russell Westbrook added 31 points and seven rebounds to give Oklahoma City its fourth win in five games. After rallying for a thrilling comeback at Portland a night earlier, the Thunder had to sweat out another frantic finish.

Ellis scored a career-high 48 points, and Lee had 25 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists for his second career triple-double. Ellis and Brandon Rush both missed 3-pointers in the closing seconds to tie or take the lead.

"We have to break that cycle" Ellis said. "The games we should win, we've got to start winning. And the games like this, we should go out and compete and give ourselves a chance to win."

Celtics 94, Bobcats 84

In Boston, Paul Pierce passed Larry Bird for No. 2 on the Celtics' career scoring list, finishing with 15 points as Boston increased its winning streak to five with a victory over the Bobcats.

Pierce needed nine points to tie Bird's total of 21,791. He had seven points at halftime, then hit a 3-pointer with 10:23 left in the third quarter to pass Bird.

Heat 107, Cavaliers 91

In Miami, Dwyane Wade scored 26 points, LeBron James added 24 against his former team and the Heat tuned up for a long road trip.

Suns 107, Bucks 105

In Milwaukee, Steve Nash hit a driving layup with 5 seconds left.

Timberwolves 86, Kings 84

In Minneapolis, Nikola Pekovic had 23 points and 10 rebounds, and Michael Beasley added 17 points and 14 boards to lead the Timberwolves over the Kings in their first game without the suspended Kevin Love.

Pacers 104, Jazz 99

In Indianapolis, Danny Granger scored 12 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter and Darren Collison had 25 points.

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