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Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012

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Get off me: Boston's Paul Pierce is held by Philadelphia's Damien Wilkins in the second half on Friday night. The 76ers beat the Celtics 95-94 in overtime. AP

Thunder survive late rally to score win over stuttering Lakers


OKLAHOMA CITY — In a reversal of roles, Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers know they're the predators trying to track down Kevin Durant's Oklahoma City Thunder.

They have some work to do.

Durant had 36 points, Russell Westbrook scored 27 of his 33 in the first half to stake Oklahoma City to a commanding lead and the Thunder beat the short-handed Lakers 114-108 Friday night.

"They're a team that everybody likes. As a young team coming up, you always want to beat the best," Westbrook said. "I think that's one of the things that motivates us."

Bryant had 35 points for Los Angeles, which trailed by as many as 19 before rallying to get within four in the final minute.

Dwight Howard added 23 points and 18 rebounds for the Lakers, who were eliminated by the Thunder in five games in last season's Western Conference semifinals. Howard and Steve Nash were part of an offseason overhaul to try and catch up to the Thunder.

Instead, the Lakers are 9-11 and focusing on small gains that give them the belief they'll eventually turn it around.

"It's 82 games. This team has just gotten together," Howard said. "It's not like we're going to get together and start winning right away. . . . We're learning how to play together. We're getting better. This is not on anybody's timetable but ours."

Grizzlies 96, Hornets 89

In New Orleans, Rudy Gay tied a season high with 28 points and the Grizzlies maintained their NBA-best winning percentage with their second-straight victory.

76ers 95, Celtics 94 (OT)

In Philadelphia, Evan Turner had 26 points and 10 rebounds and Thaddeus Young added 17 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Sixers past Boston in overtime.

Nuggets 92, Pacers 89

In Indianapolis, Andre Miller scored eight of his 15 points during a late 10-0 spurt.

Bulls 108, Pistons 104

In Auburn Hills, Michigan, Joakim Noah had career highs of 30 points and 23 rebounds, to help Chicago beat Detroit for the 16th straight time.

Spurs 114, Rockets 92

In San Antonio, Tony Parker had 17 points and seven assists, and the Spurs never trailed in a win over Houston.

Warriors 109, Nets 102

In New York, David Lee had 30 points and 15 rebounds, Stephen Curry scored 28 points, and Golden State gave coach Mark Jackson a winning return to Brooklyn.

Timberwolves 91, Cavaliers 73

In Minneapolis, Kevin Love had 36 points and 13 rebounds to lead Minnesota past Cleveland.

Luke Ridnour had 12 points, seven assists and five rebounds for the Timberwolves, and Andrei Kirilenko had eight points, seven rebounds and six assists after missing the previous four games with back spasms.

Hawks 104, Wizards 95

In Atlanta, Josh Smith had 23 points and 15 rebounds, Al Horford also posted a double-double and the Hawks beat Washington to keep the Wizards winless on the road.

Bucks 108, Bobcats 93

In Milwaukee, Ersan Ilyasova scored a season-high 21 points and Marquis Daniels had season highs with 18 points and six rebounds.

Jazz 131, Raptors 99

In Salt Lake City, Paul Millsap scored 20 points, Enes Kanter had 18 in his first career start and Utah hit 13 3-pointers.

Kings 91, Magic 82

In Sacramento, DeMarcus Cousins had 17 points and 14 rebounds and reserve guard Isaiah Thomas also scored 17.

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