Thunder win again without injured DurantNov 21, 2010 - 7:24 AM Milwaukee, WI (Sports Network) - Russell Westbrook's two free throws with 7.3 seconds left iced the game and Oklahoma City beat Milwaukee, 82-81, at Bradley Center.
Westbrook ended with 18 points and six assists, while James Harden had a career-high 23 points on six three-pointers to help pick up the slack in Kevin Durant's absence and lead the Thunder to their fourth straight win.
Durant missed his second straight game because of an ankle injury.
"That was a hard-fought game for us," said Thunder head coach Scott Brooks. "Both teams played great defense. We knew going in that we would have to bring our hard hats, and we were lucky to come away with the win."
Brandon Jennings had a game-high 25 points in the loss, while Drew Gooden chipped in 16 points and 16 rebounds as Milwaukee dropped its third straight.
"Tonight was another night where we get into the paint and some of our shots are turnovers," said Bucks head coach Scott Skiles. "We just throw them up there. Those aren't high-level pro plays; those are high school plays. We just need to get better at it."
Milwaukee ended the last 1:06 shooting 1-for-7 from the field and had five chances to either tie or take the lead, while Oklahoma made 4-of-6 free throws to end the game -- all four makes were from Westbrook.
Jennings cut the deficit to 71-70 with 5:25 left when he made a floater in the lane, but Westbrook answered back on the other side of the court by hitting a turn-around jumper.
Harden's triple put the lead at 78-74 with 2:17 left and after Jennings responded with three from the line, Milwaukee had an opportunity to go ahead in the final minute, but Andrew Bogut's entry pass was picked off by Nick Collison.
The game remained close down the stretch, but when the Bucks failed to make the big shot the teams traded trips to the line. Gooden made a layup with 1.2 seconds remaining to make it a one-point game, but Milwaukee couldn't get an equalizer.
Harden made his first three treys for 10 first-quarter points and led the Thunder to a 26-19 lead after 12 minutes of play.
The Bucks had the margin trimmed to one with 7:43 left to play in the first half off a Gooden tip in, but during the final five minutes the Thunder went on an 11-2 run. Harden finished the scoring streak with two free throws in the final 20 seconds to make it 47-37 heading into the locker room.
Harden hit a three pointer to open the third quarter, but the Bucks fought back by making it a four-point game, 60-56, when Jennings drove down the lane and made a lay-up with 1:51 left. Collison returned the favor for the Thunder with 30 seconds left when he made a 17-foot jump shot to make it 62-56 heading into the final quarter.
Westbrook was coming off a 31-point, six-assist night in the absence of Durant during Oklahoma's win over defending Eastern Conference champion Boston on Friday...Eric Maynor had 12 points in the win...Oklahoma City shot 57.1 percent from beyond the three point arc.
- OKLAHOMA CITY: 82
Nov 20 11:03 PM
- OKLAHOMA CITY: 62
End of Regulation
Nov 20 10:20 PM
- OKLAHOMA CITY: 47
Nov 20 9:40 PM
- OKLAHOMA CITY: 26
Nov 20 9:10 PM
- OKLAHOMA CITY: 0
1st Quarter - 15:00
Nov 20 8:41 PM
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