Thunder beat Nuggets in key division battleApr 6, 2011 - 6:24 AM Denver, CO (Sports Network) - Kevin Durant scored 32 points and pulled down nine rebounds, as the Oklahoma City Thunder inched closer to winning the Northwest Division title with a 101-94 victory over the Denver Nuggets.
Russell Westbrook added 18 points and six assists for the Thunder, who now hold a four-game lead over the Nuggets in the division.
"This was a good win for us," Westbrook said. "And we needed it. We gave away two games we should have won so this was good."
The Thunder hold the fourth spot in the Western Conference, while the Nuggets sit in fifth. Both teams have five games left in the regular season, including a meeting against each other in Oklahoma City on Friday.
Ty Lawson finished with 28 points for Denver, which secured a playoff spot with Sunday's win over the Lakers. Danilo Gallinari tallied 17 points and six boards.
The Thunder led 27-16 after 12 minutes of action, but the Nuggets surged back in the second to cut the gap to 48-47 at the half.
Neither team led by more than eight in a tight third period, which ended with Oklahoma City holding a 69-67 edge.
Denver scored the first five points of the fourth to go in front. The Thunder, though, tallied the next 16 points. Durant recorded the final four points of the spurt to give Oklahoma City an 85-72 lead with over 6 1/2 minutes to play.
The Nuggets got within four a few times down the stretch, but the Thunder made their free throws to secure the victory.
"We beat ourselves tonight," Lawson said.
The Thunder have taken two of three from the Nuggets this season...James Harden had 13 points off the bench for Oklahoma City, which went 27-of-35 from the foul line...Kenyon Martin tallied 14 points and seven rebounds for Denver, which went 17-of-26 from the charity stripe.
- OKLAHOMA CITY: 101
Apr 5 11:35 PM
- OKLAHOMA CITY: 69
End of 3rd
Apr 5 10:53 PM
- OKLAHOMA CITY: 48
Apr 5 10:08 PM
- OKLAHOMA CITY: 27
End of 1st
Apr 5 9:36 PM
- OKLAHOMA CITY: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
Apr 5 9:12 PM
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