Durant Drops 40 To Beat Pesky Mavs In OT

Thursday, December 27th 2012, 11:44 pm
By: News 9

Darren Collison was hot. Just not hot enough.

Collison scored 32 points, his highest scoring output since his rookie season, but was out-done by Kevin Durant's 40 as the Thunder held on to beat the Dallas Mavericks 111-105 in an overtime-thriller Thursday night in Oklahoma City.

Led by Collison, the Mavs (12-17) came out of the gate hot. Collison scored 14 of his season-high 32 in the first, leading Dallas to a 29-21 lead after one.

A pair of Kevins got the Thunder (22-6) going in the second. Kevin Martin's seven and Durant's eight gave Oklahoma City the wake-up call it was looking for. OKC out-scored the Mavericks by six in the second quarter to pull within two at halftime.

Serge Ibaka drained two free throws to tie the game early in the third, but then Dallas exploded for a 10-0 run to gain control yet again. The Thunder spent the rest of the quarter chipping into that lead, but Dominique Jones banked in a wild-looking three-pointer to beat the third quarter buzzer, giving Dallas an eight-point lead after three.

The fourth quarter is where things got fun. The first half of the period was a stalemate, as OKC still trailed by seven at the six-minute mark. Then Durant decided he would just do it himself.

Durant's 13 fourth-quarter points brought the Thunder back and then gave them the lead. His bucket with 1:57 remaining put OKC up 96-95, then his two free throws with just seconds remaining appeared to seal the game.

Not so fast.

With two seconds left, Shawn Marion desperately found Collison behind the arc, who made one of the craziest shots anyone has seen in a long time. All in one awkward motion, Collison caught the pass on one leg and launched the shot in mid-air, beating the clock by just tenths of a second to send the game to overtime. An extensive review confirmed the play, and Oklahoma City was forced to prepare for five more minutes of battle.

The Mavs began the overtime period with a 6-3 run to start, but Collison's former UCLA back-court mate Westbrook wasn't going to let Dallas leave town with a win. Westbrook scored eight points in the extra session to clinch the win for the Thunder, doubling his point total from regulation.

Ibaka played another strong game for OKC, scoring 19 points while grabbing 17 rebounds and blocking five shots.

Martin finished another solid performance with 18 points and seven boards, while Westbrook made up for his 7-20 shooting performance with his late clutch play combined with 10 assists and just two turnovers.

Mavericks' All-Star Dirk Nowitzki played 26 minutes in just his second appearance of the season as he makes his way back from injury. Nowitzki scored nine points on 3-11 shooting on the night.

The win snapped OKC's two-game skid and improved their home record to 15-2. Next up for the Thunder is their first trip to visit James Harden and the Rockets. Tip from Houston is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.