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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Thunder sneak past Mavericks


OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma City Thunder's top trio struggled to make shots all night.

News photo
Help from his friend: Los Angeles' Chris Paul runs Minnesota's Ricky Rubio off a pick by DeAndre Jordan in the second half on Monday night. The Timberwolves edged the Clippers 95-94. AP

With one final flurry, they were still able to keep rolling at home.

Russell Westbrook scored 24 points, Kevin Durant added 22 and the Thunder scored the final eight points to escape with a 95-91 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Monday night and run their home winning streak to 13 games.

Durant, Westbrook and top reserve James Harden went a combined 16-for-49 from the field as Oklahoma City managed to pull one out without needing to make a basket in the final 2 minutes.

"The thing is with us, we've just got to continue to just keep playing hard no matter if we're making shots or not, and playing together on both ends," said Durant, who missed 12 of his 18 shots.

"It was a sloppy game but I'm glad we came out on top."

Westbrook answered Dirk Nowitzki's fourth 3-pointer of the final period by hitting one of his own from the right wing to get the Thunder within 91-90 with 2:25 remaining, and Dallas didn't score again.

Serge Ibaka hit two free throws with 46 seconds left to give Oklahoma City the lead, and Jason Terry missed two shots down the stretch for the Mavericks.

Nowitzki finished with 27 points but didn't touch the ball on a key possession when Dallas was down by two with 13 seconds left.

Instead, Terry and Jason Kidd passed the ball back and forth with Kidd getting stuck under the basket before tossing it right back. Terry missed on a short jumper along the right baseline that would have tied it, and Westbrook hit two free throws to ice it after grabbing the rebound.

Veteran forward Lamar Odom, sent back to Dallas after a short stint in the NBA Development League, had six points and two rebounds in 24:19 off the bench.

Timberwolves 95, Clippers 94

In Minneapolis, Kevin Love had 39 points and 17 rebounds to carry the Timberwolves to their third victory over Los Angeles this season.

Blake Griffin had 26 points and 12 rebounds.

Bucks 97, 76ers 93

In Milwaukee, Beno Udrih hit a go-ahead jumper with just under a minute left, and the Bucks held off Philadelphia's late comeback.

Nuggets 119, Kings 116 (OT)

In Denver, Arron Afflalo hit three free throws with 0.6 seconds left in regulation and Ty Lawson made a 3-pointer with 4 seconds to go in overtime as the hosts improved to 4-0 since the All-Star break.

Afflalo finished with a career-high 32 points for the Nuggets.

Bulls 92, Pacers 72

In Chicago, Luol Deng scored 20 points, teaming with Derrick Rose in a decisive third-quarter rally that sent the Bulls to their seventh straight victory.

Magic 92, Raptors 88

In Toronto, Dwight Howard had 36 points and 13 rebounds, Ryan Anderson added 19 points and 13 boards for Orlando.

Jazz 109, Cavaliers 100

In Cleveland, Al Jefferson scored 25 points, Gordon Hayward added 23, and Utah handed the Cavs their sixth straight loss.

Warriors 120, Wizards 100

In Washington, Monta Ellis scored 25 points and Klay Thompson added 18 to lead Golden State.

Trail Blazers 86, Hornets 74

In Portland, Nicolas Batum scored 19 points and the hosts snapped a three-game losing streak.

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