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Friday, Nov. 23, 2012

Durant, Westbrook ignite Thunder


OKLAHOMA CITY — Kendrick Perkins challenged his Oklahoma City Thunder teammates before a showdown of division leaders with the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night.

News photo
Lining it up: Los Angeles' Blake Griffin puts up a shot over Oklahoma City's Kendrick Perkins in the second quarter on Wednesday night. The Thunder beat the Clippers 117-111 in overtime. AP

The Thunder had lost their first two games this season against other top teams in the Western Conference, and Perkins wanted that trend to stop immediately.

It wasn't easy, but Oklahoma City got the job done.

Kevin Durant scored 35 points, including 19-for-21 at the free-throw line, Russell Westbrook added 23 and Oklahoma City's All-Star tandem scored all of the Thunder's points in overtime in a 117-111 victory over the Clippers.

"It felt good to finally get one of those wins, and we can move on now," Durant said.

Westbrook connected on a 3-pointer from the left wing to open the scoring in overtime, and Durant rattled one in from about the same spot two possessions later for a 108-104 advantage.

Westbrook then answered DeAndre Jordan's three-point play with a baseline jumper, and Oklahoma City was able to close it out from the foul line.

"This is a good win for us, especially against a team like that, that had some success lately," said Thabo Sefolosha, who hounded Clippers All-Star Chris Paul much of the game.

Blake Griffin led Los Angeles with 23 points and Jamal Crawford scored 20 for the Clippers, who had a six-game winning streak snapped after entering the game tied for the best record in the West.

After trailing for the previous 44 minutes, Los Angeles finally pulled even at 102-102 when Matt Barnes drove for a layup with 36 seconds left in regulation. Griffin denied Durant the ball on the Thunder's ensuing possession, and Westbrook came up empty on a drive to the basket.

Paul then dribbled out the rest of the clock before missing a turnaround jumper from the left elbow as the horn sounded.

"I think the frustrating part is we had an opportunity to win and, regardless of what anybody says, it's going to be hard for us to win a game when I play that bad," said Paul, who missed 12 of 14 shots and ended up with nine points and nine assists.

"It's tough because you work so hard but there's going to be nights like that."

Los Angeles had been tied with Memphis for the West's best record at the start of the day but dropped behind Oklahoma City and San Antonio with the loss. The Clippers were trying to win at least seven games in a row for only the sixth time in franchise history, and the first time since 1991.

"We fought the whole game and Chris got a great look. We're going to live and die on that shot," Jordan said.

Heat 113, Bucks 106 (OT)

In Miami, LeBron James had 28 points and 10 rebounds, Dwyane Wade also had 28 points and the Heat scored the first six points of OT en route to beating Milwaukee.

Kings 113, Lakers 97

In Sacramento, Marcus Thornton scored 23 points, Tyreke Evans had 18 and the hosts beat lethargic Los Angeles to snap a five-game losing streak.

Warriors 102, Nets 93

In Oakland, Klay Thompson made two 3s and scored 10 of his 23 points during a pivotal run late in the third quarter, and Golden State held on to beat Brooklyn.

Nuggets 101, Timberwolves 94

In Minneapolis, Danilo Gallinari scored 19 points, and Andre Iguodala had 18 points and nine boards for Denver to spoil Kevin Love's surprise season debut for Minnesota.

Love had 34 points and 14 rebounds, helping the Wolves take a 17-point lead in the first half.

Mavericks 114, Knicks 111

In Dallas, O.J. Mayo scored 10 of 27 points in the final 6 minutes of the third quarter when Dallas charged ahead, and the Mavericks held off New York.

The Knicks' Carmelo Anthony, who had 23 points, was short on a potential go-ahead jumper with 4 seconds left.

Pacers 115, 107 (OT)

In Indianapolis, Paul George scored 33 of his career-high 37 points in the second half and overtime, and Roy Hibbert had a triple-double in Indiana's victory over New Orleans.

George made a team record nine 3-pointers, all after halftime. Hibbert had 10 points, 11 rebounds and a career-best 11 blocks, and David West and George Hill each scored 16 points for the Pacers.

Hawks 101, Wizards 100 (OT)

In Atlanta, Kyle Korver hit a long 3-pointer with 1.9 seconds remaining in OT to lift Atlanta past Washington, extending the Wizards' franchise-worst start to 0-10.

Bobcats 98, Raptors 97

In Charlotte, Ramon Sessions hit a 5-meter jumper with 28 seconds left and the Bobcats made a late defensive stand to beat Toronto for their fifth win in six games.

Cavaliers 92, 76ers 83

In Cleveland, Jeremy Pargo scored a career-high 28 points filling in for the injured Kyrie Irving to help the Cavs end a six-game losing streak.

Suns 114, Blazers 87

In Phoenix, Marcin Gortat scored a season-high 22 points in only three quarters and the Suns routed Portland to snap a three-game losing streak.

Spurs 112, Celtics 100

In Boston, Tony Parker scored a season-high 26 points, Tim Duncan had 20 points and 15 rebounds, and reserve Tiago Splitter added a season-high 23 points for San Antonio.

Rajon Rondo had 22 points and extended his consecutive streak of double-digit assist games to 35 with 15.

Rockets 93, Bulls 89

In Houston, James Harden scored 28 points, Patrick Patterson added 20 and the hosts beat Chicago to snap a three-game losing streak.

The Bulls have lost three in a row for the first time in Tom Thibodeau's three seasons as coach.

Magic 90, Pistons 74

In Orlando, Andrew Nicholson scored 15 points, Glen Davis had 11 points and 14 rebounds, and the Magic opened the third quarter with a 21-0 run against Detroit.

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