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January 19, 2013

Durant scores career-high 52 points to lead OKC over Dallas in overtime

DALLAS — Kevin Durant scored a career-high 52 points, including the go-ahead basket with 16.5 seconds left in overtime, and the Oklahoma City Thunder held off a Dallas Mavericks rally for a 117-114 victory Friday night.

The Thunder, who won their sixth straight, snapped a season-high four-game winning streak for the Mavericks. It was Oklahoma City’s second overtime win against Dallas this season.

Mavericks guard O.J. Mayo forced overtime by hitting a 3-pointer with two defenders in his face with 2.3 seconds left in regulation.

Mike James had put Dallas ahead with a 3 pointer in overtime, but his shot from well behind the arc in the final seconds of the extra period fell short.

Russell Westbrook, who scored 31, missed a free throw to give the Mavericks one more chance to tie, but Vince Carter’s desperation 3 at the buzzer was short.

Carter led Dallas with a season-high 29 points.

Durant was 13 of 31 from the field and made all 21 free throws in the first 50-point game for an NBA player this season. The Thunder hit 12 freebies in the fourth quarter, but it wasn’t enough as Mayo hit the tying 3 after two free throws by Westbrook with 5.9 seconds left.

The Thunder blew a 14-point second-half lead and almost lost for the first time in 28 games when leading after three quarters.

Durant put Oklahoma City ahead 99-98 on a pair of free throws after he was fouled on a drive with 1:32 left. He hit two more after he was fouled following a rebound of a miss by Dirk Nowitzki, and Oklahoma City kept the lead until Mayo’s tying 3-pointer.

Dallas had its first chance to tie in the final 15 seconds when Carter went for a dunk and a one-point deficit instead. After Westbrook hit two free throws, Mayo hit the 3-pointer with two defenders jumping at him.

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