The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Sports

March 17, 2013

Westbrook, Durant spark Thunder win

DALLAS — — Kevin Durant scored 19 of his 31 points in the fourth quarter, Russell Westbrook had 35 including the go-ahead jumper with 1 minute left, and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Dallas Mavericks 107-101 Sunday night.

Durant was 3 of 9 from the floor before hitting seven shots in a row during one stretch in the fourth.  Westbrook connected on a 17-footer to give the Thunder a 103-101 lead. With a chance to tie on the next possession, Durant forced Dallas into a shot-clock violation when he blocked Mike James’ desperation jumper.

Thabo Sefolosha hit a turnaround jumper over O.J. Mayo to stretch Oklahoma City’s lead to 105-101.

Dirk Nowitzki scored 23 points, including two free throws for the Mavericks to tie the score at 101 with 1:20 left. However, Dallas didn’t score after that.

The Thunder beat the Mavericks for the 10th- straight time, including a sweep in the first round of the playoffs last year. Oklahoma City won all four matchups this season, three of which were by six points or fewer.

Darren Collison hit a bank shot to finish a 7-0 run and put the Mavericks up 79-78 with 9:43 remaining.

That’s when Durant, who had been scoreless in the second half, began to take charge. The lanky forward hit a 21-footer and then drove past Vince Carter for a three-point play, giving the Thunder an 83-79 lead.

That started a run for Durant where he scored 17 of his team’s next 21 points. He capped his scoring frenzy with a step-back jumper that pushed Oklahoma City’s lead to 99-93.

The Mavericks went on an 8-2 run to tie the score. Nowitzki hit four free throws in a row to tie it at 101. After Westbrook’s jumper made it 103-101, Dallas had a chance to tie. But they nearly lost control of the ball twice and James was forced to fire up a tough shot, which was easily blocked by Durant.

With the shot clock winding down, Sefolosha turned over Mayo and hit a 13-footer with 12.5 seconds left. Durant capped the game with two free throws in the final seconds.

Nowitzki hit his first eight shots and scored all of Dallas’ points in an 8-2 run that gave the Mavericks a 59-56 lead early in the third.

Nowitzki, who was 8 of 10 from the floor, finally missed five minutes into the third with a errant 3-pointer.

Westbrook finished the third with a jumper that gave the Thunder a 73-72 lead.

Derek Fisher, who played nine games with the Mavericks earlier in the season, played for the first time in Dallas since the team granted his release. Fisher said he was having a difficult time being away from his family and Dallas waived him on Dec. 22.

Fisher ended up signing with Oklahoma City last month and Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said before the game he was disappointed with how the situation with Fisher played out.

Dallas fans booed Fisher when he entered the game with 1:45 left. They then cheered loudly 10 seconds later when the 17-year veteran was called for his first foul.

NOTES: Mavericks F Shawn Marion missed his sixth straight game because of a strained left calf. . Oklahoma City C Hasheem Thabeet was out with a sore lower back.

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