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Thunder Protect Home Court With Win Against Mavs

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Serge Ibaka had six blocks in the Thunder's victory (AP Photo). Serge Ibaka had six blocks in the Thunder's victory (AP Photo).

Grant Belcher, News9.com

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Thunder continued two trends on Monday night: protecting their home floor and bouncing back after a loss.

Though neither of them was easy, Oklahoma City topped Dallas 95-91 in another exciting finish at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

Oklahoma City's numbers in those two categories, which were already remarkable, only increased.

The Thunder improved their home record to 16-1 overall – best in the league – and moved to 8-1 in games following a loss.

But they didn't do it without the normal dose of excitement and tension at the end.

It was all about the free throws, as Serge Ibaka was fouled and hit two to put OKC up 92-91 with 46 seconds to play.

After a miss from Dallas' Jason Terry, Kevin Durant split two free throws to up the lead to two.

And after a bizarre, botched play on the other end, Russell Westbrook hit his two free throws to seal the game.

Though Oklahoma City led entering the fourth quarter, a barrage of 3-pointers from Dirk Nowitzki in the fourth led his team right back on top. Nowitzki had four 3s in the fourth quarter alone and finished with 27 points to lead the Mavs.

Jason Terry also had his usual type of game against the Thunder, scoring 18 off the bench to go with seven assists and five boards.

But while Dallas was hanging back and shooting from the outside, OKC was attacking the rim with reckless abandon.

Oklahoma City shot 33 free throws in the game and made 29 of them, compared to 10-of-10 for the Mavericks.

Both Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant had rough shooting days despite being able to weather the storm.

Westbrook shot 6-of-20 for 24 points and Durant went 6-of-18 for 22 points. But they combined to go 19-of-22 from the free throw stripe.

Kendrick Perkins had a big night with a season-high 14 rebounds, and Serge Ibaka added six blocks.

OKC's stretch will lighten up a bit with three straight home games against non-playoff teams.

That slate begins with the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday with a tipoff set for 7 p.m.

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