Durant's late shot lifts Thunder over RocketsJan 8, 2012 - 7:12 AM Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Kevin Durant hit the game-winning jumper with 22 seconds left, sending the Thunder to a 98-95 victory over the Rockets on Saturday.
Durant scored 13 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter, as the Thunder took both games of a home-and-home from the Rockets to halt a two-game skid. Russell Westbrook added 25 points, Nazr Mohammed had 17 and James Harden chipped in 16.
"Any give night somebody has to step up," said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. "But the thing that always has to be there is our effort and I very rarely ever complain about our effort and tonight that was the key part of our win."
The Rockets, losers of four straight, were paced by Luis Scola's 28 points. Goran Dragic added 20, but turned the ball over on the team's final possession to seal the result. Kevin Martin had 16 points and Patrick Patterson finished with 10.
The Thunder rolled to a 109-94 home win over the Rockets on Friday, but found the going significantly tougher in Houston.
A back-and-forth first half saw Oklahoma City hold a 48-46 advantage at the break. The Rockets used a 14-2 run to grab a 66-54 lead on Dragic's trey with 4 1/2 minutes left in the third -- marking the largest lead of the game by either team.
The Thunder battled back, tying the game at 72 courtesy of Mohammed's layup on their final possession of the third. The tight finish had the Rockets on top, 95-94, before Durant set a pick for Westbrook, flared to the elbow and knocked down a jumper with 22 seconds left.
Chandler Parsons missed an open trey out of a Houston timeout, but the ball deflected out of bounds off the Thunder. Dragic then missed a floater and Durant corralled the rebound and knocked down two at the charity stripe to make it 98-95.
With time winding down, the Thunder allowed Dragic to penetrate on the other end, conceding a layup. Instead he threw the ball away to seal the Rockets' fate.
"We had a wide open shot from the corner, and Chandler missed it, no big deal," said Scola. "It was a good play. That is as much as you can ask. It was a wide open three-point shot from the corner, from a guy who can shoot."
The Thunder conclude a back-to-back-to-back Sunday against the Spurs. The Rockets next play Tuesday at Charlotte... Oklahoma City backup point guard Eric Maynor was assisted off the floor in the fourth quarter after planting awkwardly on his right knee and momentarily writhing in pain on the baseline.
- OKLAHOMA CITY: 98
Jan 7 10:24 PM
- OKLAHOMA CITY: 72
End of 3rd
Jan 7 9:45 PM
- OKLAHOMA CITY: 48
Jan 7 9:03 PM
- OKLAHOMA CITY: 23
End of 1st
Jan 7 8:35 PM
- OKLAHOMA CITY: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
Jan 7 8:12 PM
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