Kevin Durant, Thunder top Mavs 109-106 for season-best 7-game run

Associated Press
0 Comments

DALLAS (AP) — Kevin Durant scored 24 points in the former Texas star’s first game in Dallas in almost two years, and the Oklahoma City Thunder extended their winning streak to a season-best seven games by holding on for a 109-106 victory over the Mavericks on Friday night.

Russell Westbrook had 16 points, eight rebounds and seven assists for the Thunder, who almost blew a 17-point lead in the fourth quarter before improving to 13-2 since a Christmas Day loss to Chicago.

Chandler Parsons led Dallas with 26 points and nearly extended an NBA-record streak of four straight overtime home games. His desperation 3-pointer bounced off the rim just before the buzzer. It was the last of three potential tying 3s in the final 35 seconds for Dallas.

The Dallas rally was sparked by seldom-used center Salah Mejri, who energized the crowd with blocks at the rim against both Westbrook and Durant. The latter came on a dunk attempt by Durant with the Thunder leading 107-103 in the final 2 minutes.

Deron Williams, who had 22 points, pulled Dallas within one with a 3, and Durant answered with a jumper. After Wesley Matthews missed a shot from long range, he drew a foul coming around a screen from Serge Ibaka to give the Mavericks another chance.

Williams made a mistake by trying to shoot from inside the arc, but ended up with the loose ball after Ibaka blocked it. Dirk Nowitzki, back in the lineup after missing a game with swelling in his right knee, was off target on a 3 and Parsons missed after grabbing the rebound and heading for the left corner with the clock winding down.

Oklahoma City has won all three games against Dallas this season, including a 19-point win at home Jan. 13 when the Mavericks sat all five starters on the second night of a back-to-back.

Mejri had 17 points and nine rebounds in 25 minutes in the earlier loss after not scoring all season. He didn’t score in this game, but the blocks had the crowd buzzing.

The Thunder turned an eight-point halftime deficit into an 11-point lead by outscoring Dallas 37-18 in the third quarter. Durant scored 12 points in the quarter, and Ibaka had 10 of his 14 as the Thunder shot 62 percent to 30 percent for Dallas.

Durant and Ibaka both went 2 of 3 from 3-point range in the third in Durant’s first game in Dallas since March 24, 2014, when he scored 43 points in a 128-119 overtime loss.

Nowitzki scored 14 points on 6-of-15 shooting after a sluggish start coming back from the knee injury.

Enes Kanter had 16 points and nine rebounds, while Nick Collison had a game-high 11 boards to lead a dominant effort by Oklahoma City, which was missing starting center Steven Adams for the first time this season with a right elbow strain.

The Thunder outrebounded the Mavericks 47-33 and outscored them 17-4 in second-chance points.

TIP-INS

Thunder: In Wednesday’s win over Charlotte, Westbrook became the fourth player in NBA history with at least 15 points, 15 assists, five rebounds and five steals in a game. He scored 16 points with 15 assists, eight rebounds and five steals in 27 minutes.

Mavericks: Parsons made his 300th career start, and Williams needs one more for 700. … C Zaza Pachulia got a technical for taunting in the fourth quarter.