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Westbrook rallies Thunder past Mavericks


OKLAHOMA CITY — Kevin Durant scored 40 points while Russell Westbrook added eight of his 16 points in overtime to help the Oklahoma City Thunder beat Dallas 111-105 on Thursday night for their 11th straight win at home.

Serge Ibaka added 19 points and matched his season high with 17 rebounds as Oklahoma City charged back from 10 points down in the final 7:17 of regulation and found a way to win after losing back-to-back games for the first time this season.

Darren Collison scored a season-best 32 points for Dallas. Dirk Nowitzki scored nine points in his second game back after off-season knee surgery, showing some rust down the stretch.

Westbrook turned the game around with six straight points after the Mavs had gone up 104-101 on Chris Kaman’s bucket inside midway through overtime. Westbrook had a layup, hit a jumper over Nowitzki and then made a leaping steal of an O.J. Mayo pass that led to a fast-break layup. The sequence left Mavericks owner Mark Cuban shaking his head in his seat near the team’s bench.

Mayo was fouled on Dallas’ next possession while shooting a 3-pointer, but he missed the first two foul shots with 33 seconds left as the sold-out Chesapeake Energy Arena crowd roared louder with each miss.

Westbrook hit two free throws after that to put it away — this time for good.

Collison came up with a desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer to send it to overtime after Dallas had given up the lead for the first time since the opening 4 minutes.

Shawn Marion inbounded from the sideline with 2.2 seconds left, collected a deflected pass and headed toward the lane before kicking the ball out to Collison, who caught the ball in mid-air and heaved it toward the basket for the tying 3 from the right wing.

Replays showed he released the shot with one-tenth of a second left on the clock.

Still working his way back into shape, Nowitzki proved to be a liability during Oklahoma City’s 17-6 fourth-quarter comeback. He sagged off of Durant far enough that the three-time NBA scoring champion could drill a 3-pointer from the left wing, then was trailing a play when O.J. Mayo backed into him and lost the ball to set up Durant’s fast-break dunk and three-point play.

Durant’s right-handed hook shot from the right block gave Oklahoma City its first lead since the opening 4 minutes at 96-95 with 1:57 to play.

Oklahoma City came up empty on three chances to extend the lead — after back-to-back offensive rebounds by Ibaka — but Durant hit a pair of free throws with 3.7 seconds left after Westbrook stole the ball from Mayo and dove to cover it while calling timeout.

In overtime, Carlisle pulled Nowitzki in favour of Marion for defence at one point.

Kaman ended up with 17 poitns and Marion chipped in 14 points and nine rebounds for the Mavericks, who were swept on a treacherous three-game road trip that featured stops at West contenders Memphis, San Antonio and Oklahoma City despite getting Nowitzki back. Dallas has lost seven of eight.

 
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