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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Love's 51 don't get job done against Thunder


OKLAHOMA CITY — When Kevin Love drilled the most dramatic of his career-high seven 3-pointers during his first 50-point game over Russell Westbrook, he gave his former UCLA buddy a good ribbing.

News photo
Career night: Minnesota's Kevin Love takes a shot over Oklahoma City's Kendrick Perkins on Friday. The Thunder outlasted the Timberwolves 149-140 in double overtime. AP

At the end of the night, it was Westbrook who got the win.

Westbrook scored a career-best 45 points, Kevin Durant added 40 points and a season-high 17 rebounds and the Oklahoma City Thunder overcame Love's 51 points to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 149-140 in double-overtime Friday night.

"There's a lot of great performances throughout this game but the good thing about it was our team victory," Westbrook said.

Westbrook set the tone in the second overtime, stealing the ball on Minnesota's opening possession and racing to the other end for a layup that resulted in a three-point play.

The West-leading Thunder never trailed in the period and put it away with nine straight points after Nick Collison blocked Love's shot that would have tied it at 140.

"That's going to be a game that's going to be played for a while now," Durant said. "It was fun to be a part of. . ."

Love, who beat Durant in the 3-Point Contest on All-Star Weekend, also pulled down 14 rebounds while becoming the third player to eclipse 50 points this season.

Durant (51) and New Jersey's Deron Williams (57) previously passed the half-century mark.

Love, whose previous career-high was 43 points, was 16 of 27 from the field and went 7-for-11 on 3s, hitting his first five attempts.

J.J. Barea complemented him with his first career triple-double — and the first for Minnesota since Kevin Garnett did it in 2007. He had a season-high 25 points a career-best 14 assists and matched his best rebounding total with 10.

Love answered Durant's tiebreaking 3-pointer with 3.9 seconds left in regulation by hitting his own over Westbrook with just 1 second left to force overtime.

Lakers 103, Blazers 96

In Los Angeles, Andrew Bynum had 28 points and nine rebounds, point guard Ramon Sessions had 20 points and 11 assists in his first start for the Lakers, and the hosts beat Portland.

Spurs 104, Mavericks 87

In San Antonio, Manu Ginobili had 11 points and seven assists while starting in place of an injured Tony Parker, leading the Spurs to a victory over Dallas.

Magic 93, Cavaliers 80

In Orlando, Ryan Anderson scored 17 points, Dwight Howard added 16 points and 13 rebounds, and the Magic held off Cleveland.

Heat 88, Pistons 73

In Auburn Hills, Michigan, LeBron James had 17 points and 10 assists to lead Miami to its fourth straight victory.

Dwyane Wade added 24 points for the Heat, who posed for a photo earlier in the day wearing team-logo hoodies. Players were speaking out following the death of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed black teenager wearing a hooded sweatshirt who was shot by a neighborhood crime-watch volunteer last month in a suburb of Orlando, Florida.

Bucks 112, Bobcats 92

In Charlotte, Luc Mbah a Moute scored 13 of his 20 points in the second half and Milwaukee had 72 points inside the paint.

Raptors 96, Knicks 79

In Toronto, DeMar DeRozan scored 30 points before leaving with an injury and the Raptors snapped New York's five-game winning streak.

Suns 113, Pacers 111

In Indianapolis, Marcin Gortat had 23 points and eight rebounds, Steve Nash added 12 points and tied his season high with 17 assists, and Grant Hill scored 22 for Phoenix.

Hawks 93, Nets 84

In Atlanta, Josh Smith had 30 points and 12 rebounds to help the Hawks get their fourth win in five games.

76ers 99, Celtics 86

In Philadelphia, Elton Brand scored 20 points, and Spencer Hawes had 12 points and 10 rebounds to help the Sixers keep their grip atop the Atlantic Division with a victory over Boston.

Jazz 121, Nuggets 102

In Salt Lake City, Al Jefferson had 23 points and eight rebounds, Gordon Hayward chipped in 15 points, seven rebounds and seven assists, and Utah beat Denver.

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