KD Nets Career-High 52 As Thunder Outlasts Dallas

Saturday, January 19th 2013, 1:59 am
By: News 9

Maybe Kevin Durant isn't nice after all – at least that would be the consensus feeling in Dallas on Friday night.

Durant was an unstoppable force in the American Airlines Center but perhaps one play in particular best encapsulates his transcendent performance.

Durant took a pass from Russell Westbrook at the top of the key and turned to face Shawn Marion with time falling off the clock. He faked right and took off down the lane, rising up off one foot and releasing a high-floater over Marion's outstretched arm. And with 16.2 seconds remaining in overtime, the shot ripped through the net to put the Thunder up by two in a battle royale between the league's two hottest teams.

The shot did more than give OKC a lead it wouldn't relinquish in a 117-114 Thunder victory, it gave KD a career-high 52 points in a tour-de-force performance from the three-time scoring champion.

Oklahoma City came into Friday night's matchup on a five-game winning streak, meeting a Mavericks' squad that had won four in a row, but it was the Thunder's superstar who kept his team's streak alive.

It wasn't Durant's best shooting performance, but it was one of his most dominant games in a Thunder uniform. KD finished the game 13-of-31 from the floor but scored nine of the Thunder's 12 points in overtime and buried the Mavs from the foul line. KD hit all 20 of his free throws, routinely keeping the Thunder alive from the line after the Mavericks charged back to put OKC on the ropes in the fourth quarter.

The Thunder led by as many as 14 points in the second half but the resilient Mavericks chipped away as Oklahoma City missed shot after shot. After Dallas cut the lead to five early in the fourth, OKC went from the 9:07 mark to 3:11 without a basket, save for four free throws, as Dallas took its first lead since the opening quarter.

But Durant and Westbrook did what opponents have grown accustomed to seeing them do: completely take over.

They the Thunder's final 12 points of the quarter but Dallas' O.J. Mayo drilled a contested 3 with 2.5 seconds remaining to force OT. Durant had a chance at winning the game as time expired but came up short on a clean look from 22 feet.

But the miss did anything but deter the duo's scoring frenzy down the stretch.

The Thunder's terrific twosome scored all 12 in the overtime period against Dallas, giving them the final 24 in the game for OKC.

Westbrook finished with 31 points on 12-of-26 shooting to go with six assists and six boards.

The 83 points between the two is the most by a pair of teammates in the NBA this season, a mark the duo set just four days ago with 77 against Phoenix.

Serge Ibaka and Kevin Martin were the only other OKC players to reach double figures as each scored 11 points. Ibaka also chipped in 14 rebounds and two blocks.

Dallas was led by Vince Carter, who scored 29 points off the bench on 10-of-17 shooting and 4-of-8 from 3. Dirk Nowitzki struggled on 5-of-19 shooting but finished with 18 thanks to an 8-for-9 showing at the foul line.

The victory kept the Thunder atop the league standings at 32-8 and it was OKC's second overtime win against Dallas this season in as many meetings. It was also the Thunder's eighth straight over the Mavs.

Oklahoma City plays the second in its six-game road trip on Sunday against Denver at 7 p.m. It will be the second meeting between the teams in five days after OKC beat the Nuggets by 20 on Wednesday.