108 - 110 Final - OT
  for this game

Mavericks outlast Thunder in overtime

Feb 28, 2009 - 5:57 AM DALLAS (Ticker) -- Hard to figure what was more painful for the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday - the loss of Kevin Durant or the manner in which they lost to the Dallas Mavericks.

In a topsy-turvy game, the Mavericks rallied from a double-digit deficit in the fourth quarter and blew a five-point lead in the final minute of regulation before finally outlasting the Thunder, 110-108, as Dirk Nowitzki erupted for 41 points.

"This game was just like the last time we played these guys the last time and they took us all the way down the stretch," Nowitzki said. "They're really a young team and even with Durant out they kept coming tonight. (Russell) Westbrook is a beast and (Jeff) Green had a heck of a game."

Nowitzki, who scored 10 points in a fourth-quarter surge that brought Dallas back from the edge of doom, connected for five straight points in overtime to make it 103-99 with 1:38 left.

Westbrook cut the gap in half with a baseline drive.

Nowitzki then found Jason Kidd in the corner. Kidd hit his second 3-point basket of overtime to make it 106-101 with 20 seconds left. The overtime baskets were Kidd's only hoops of the game after going 0-of-6 in regulation.

"It's funny, I said to him when we were both out of the game and were on the sidelines in the fourth quarter I said to him 'Do you have one shot in you?'" Nowitzki said. "He said, 'Yes that's about all I've got tonight' and I definitely knew that Westbrook was going to leave him and as soon as I turned my back.

"I knew Westbrook was coming and I was able to deliver the ball to J-Kidd and he knocked it down, and that's why he is a Hall-of-Famer for us."

After a basket by Westbrook, Kidd hit a pair of free throws with 10.8 seconds left to seemingly seal the game.

"Kidd was great in the fourth quarter," Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said. "He had played a good game up to that point but he just made huge plays. He had steals, assists, hit two huge 3s and then made four of the biggest free throws of the game. He's just a great competitor."

However, James Singleton fouled Jeff Green, who was attempting a 3-point shot with 7.1 seconds left. Green, who had 28 points, hit the trifecta from the line to make it 108-106.

Kidd, who scored all 10 of his points in overtime, then hit another pair of foul shots to seal it. Finally.

"Well, we battled," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. "That's what I liked of what we did tonight. We really did a good job of really competing and unfortunately they had to play good basketball to catch up with us and they did."

Westbrook, who scored 33 points, had keyed a 16-4 outburst with five straight points, including a monster dunk. Westbrook was fouled on the play and hit the foul shot to complete the three-point play.

Thabo Sefolosha hit a 3-point shot to cap the run that saw Oklahoma City open an 85-73 advantage.

"We were down 12 with ... 5:30 to go and I thought that was a little more dire than seven (points) with four minutes," Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. "There's plenty of time left. We've got to get something going defensively, that was the problem. Then, the zone was effective for us, and it fueled some great stuff for us offensively.

"Dirk was sensational, made play after play, he was scoring the ball or making passes for shots."

The Mavericks responded with a 16-0 run to take a 91-87 lead. The spurt was keyed by 10 point from Nowitzki.

The Mavericks built the advantage to 95-90 on a layup by Nowitzki before the Thunder rallied.

Westbrook hit 2-of-3 free throws. Nenad Krstic grabbed the offensive board on the miss and fed Westbrook, who drilled a 3-point shot to tie the game with 17 seconds left.

Each team had a chance to win the game in regulation but failed.

One wouldn't have thought the Thunder had a chance after Durant, the NBA's fourth-leading scorer, went out with a sprained ankle in the first half.

Durant took a shot, came down awkwardly and hobbled off the court to the bench and quickly to the locker room. X-rays were negative and the diagnosis was a sprained right ankle.

Just 20 years of age, Durant is enjoying the finest month of his career. Durant has averaged 33.1 points and 6.7 rebounds over his prior 10 games, shooting 54 percent from the floor.

"I don't know," Brooks said when asked how long Durant would be sidelined. "I know he took X-rays and everything was negative, which is a good sign. But don't know how long he'll be out."

Nowitzki, who had been subpar in his past four games, came to life. He scored 13 points in the first quarter and 21 at the half to lead Dallas.

Jeff Green and Westbrook stepped up in Durant's absence and the game remained tight throughout.