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(Tuesday, March 25th)
Final Score: Dallas 128, Oklahoma City 119 (OT)
Dallas, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Dirk Nowitzki tallied 32 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and four steals as the Dallas Mavericks edged the Oklahoma City Thunder, 128-119, in overtime on Tuesday.
Nowitzki netted eight points in the fourth quarter and seven in overtime, as Dallas outscored OKC 17-8 in the extra session.
"He played great, he played great. He carried us. His emotion and his attitude carried the team," Dallas head coach Rick Carlisle said about Nowitzki.
Seven Mavericks reached double figures in the triumph, with Jose Calderon hitting six 3-pointers en route to 22 points and Monta Ellis and Vince Carter posting 17 and 16 points, respectively.
Despite the loss, Kevin Durant's scoring tear continued with 43 points on 15- of-27 shooting. Durant has now scored at least 25 points in 36 consecutive games, just four shy of Michael Jordan's all-time record of 40 games.
Russell Westbrook, who missed Monday's win over Denver to rest his surgically repaired right knee, returned to the court and contributed 23 points, eight assists and seven boards. The Thunder saw their four-game winning streak come to an end.
"They have good players offensively and it was a shootout tonight," said Thunder head coach Scott Brooks.
The Thunder trailed by five when Derek Fisher, who had 13 points off the bench, was re-inserted into the contest at the 4:00 mark of the fourth quarter. The veteran made an immediate impact, hitting a triple from the left corner 32 seconds later. Westbrook then gave the Thunder the lead, hitting 4- of-5 free throws on consecutive possessions, but Nowitzki hit a layup and a short jumper for a 108-105 Dallas lead with 1:19 to play.
Again Fisher found the range, canning a trey to tie it. Durant and Calderon then traded 3-pointers, and after Westbrook's jumper rimmed out with less than two seconds to play, Dallas had one last look at the basket in regulation. Out of a timeout, Nowitzki caught the inbounds pass, turned and hoisted a 35- footer than hit iron but bounced off.
Dallas led 116-113 two minutes into the overtime period when Nowitzki hit one of his patented step-back jumpers. Marion then sank a baseline runner and with just under a minute to play, Nowitzki drained a 3-ball to seal the outcome. Oklahoma City missed four 3-pointers in the last 30 seconds.
Early on, OKC turned the ball over three times on its first five possessions, allowing Dallas to jump out to an 8-2 lead.
The Mavs led comfortably throughout the opening stanza until a pair of Thunder reserves narrowed the gap. Reggie Jackson's lefty layup was followed by a Caron Butler triple, as the Thunder pulled to within 28-24 after one.
OKC looked to be in control late in the second, leading 57-48 after five straight point by Westbrook, but a quick 9-0 Dallas flurry tied the score 33.9 seconds before halftime. Durant answered with a 3, and the Thunder led 60-59 at intermission.
Neither team led by more than seven the rest of regulation.
Dallas passed its previous season-high in points (127 in a loss to the Clippers on Jan. 15) ... Durant has been the high-scorer for either team in eight straight Thunder games. He has scored at least 25 points in 60 of 71 games this season ... The contest featured 16 lead changes and 10 ties ... Dallas won the rebounding margin, 48-38.
03/26 00:07:42 ET
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