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Friday, Jan. 11, 2013
Thunder rout Timberwolves
OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma City Thunder got caught overlooking a short-handed opponent once.
Kevin Durant scored 26 points, Russell Westbrook added 23 and the Thunder pulled away for a 106-84 victory Wednesday night against the Minnesota Timberwolves, who were without All-Star forward Kevin Love and four other injured players.
Oklahoma City had lost its last game on a buzzer-beater against a last-place Washington team saddled by injuries to its top three players.
Thunder coach Scott Brooks mentioned before the shootaround that Minnesota was in a similar situation as Washington, and his team left nothing to chance.
"Everybody locked in and focused in on Minnesota tonight," Brooks said. "I was glad they came out, and I knew they would. We've always been a team that takes pride in how we play, and they did tonight."
The Thunder took control with a string of seven straight points early in the second half and stretched their lead to 24 before pulling Durant, Westbrook and the other starters with 5:44 remaining.
"We don't really change anything different when we have a bad game," said Durant, who blocked four shots. "Every time we lose and we don't play well defensively, it's just miscommunications and lapses. Once we take those out of the game, we'll be all right."
Alexey Shved scored 18 points for Minnesota, which announced earlier in the day that Love would miss eight to 10 weeks after breaking his right hand for the second time. The rebounding maestro will need surgery to repair the broken hand.
The Timberwolves were also without guard J.J. Barea (back spasms), who has given the Thunder fits since the Western Conference finals two seasons ago. Terry Porter, filling in for a second game with coach Rick Adelman out for personal reasons, said Barea was a game-time decision.
Chase Budinger, Brandon Roy and Malcolm Lee were already sidelined with knee injuries for Minnesota.
Clippers 99, Mavericks 93
In Los Angeles, Chris Paul had 19 points and 16 assists, and the Clippers held on to beat Dallas, extending their franchise-record home winning streak to 13 games.
Matt Barnes added 19 points off the bench, and Blake Griffin had 15 points and 13 rebounds for Los Angeles (29-8), which took sole possession of the NBA's best record from Oklahoma City with its third straight win overall.
Spurs 108, Lakers 105
In San Antonio, Tony Parker scored 24 points to help the hosts hand slumping Los Angeles its fifth straight loss.
Manu Ginobili added 19 points and Tiago Splitter and Stephen Jackson had 14 each for the Spurs, who have won 11 straight at home.
Celtics 87, Suns 79
In Boston, Jeff Green scored 14 points, rookie Jared Sullinger added 12 points and 16 rebounds, and the Celtics recovered from a dreadful third quarter, rallying in the fourth to beat Phoenix.
Grizzlies 94, Warriors 87
In Oakland, Zach Randolph had 19 points and 12 rebounds, Rudy Gay scored 18 points and Memphis completed a 3-0 road trip with a victory over Golden State.
Bucks 104, Bulls 96
In Chicago, Brandon Jennings scored 20 of his 35 points in the third quarter and Milwaukee beat the Bulls for its second consecutive victory under interim coach Jim Boylan.
Hornets 88, Rockets 79
In New Orleans, Roger Mason scored 15 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter to rally the hosts to a victory over Houston.
Nuggets 108, Magic 105
In Denver, Kenneth Faried scored 19 points and grabbed 19 rebounds to help the Nuggets rally for a win over slumping Orlando.
Jazz 112, Bobcats 102
In Charlotte, Al Jefferson had 26 points and eight rebounds to lead Utah to its fourth win in five games with a victory over the Bobcats.
Raptors 90, 76ers 72
In Toronto, Amir Johnson had 19 points and 12 rebounds, Jose Calderon added 14 points and 11 assists, and the Raptors beat Philadelphia.
Cavaliers 99, Hawks 83
In Cleveland, Kyrie Irving scored 18 of his 33 points in the third quarter to lead the injury-riddled Cavs over Atlanta.
Potential buyer for Kings
SEATTLE — Investor Chris Hansen has contacted the Maloof family about buying the Sacramento Kings, setting up the possibility of the NBA's return to Seattle.
Hansen's interest was confirmed Wednesday by people with knowledge of the situation. They spoke on condition of anonymity because no deal has been reached.
One source said the Kings could sell for more than $500 million.