Thunder guard Derek Fisher then fouled Lawson before he could get up a 3-point attempt with 3.9 seconds left. Lawson hit the first foul shot and attempted to miss the second, but the ball banked in.
Denver was forced to foul Fisher, who sank both of his free throws for a 115-112 lead.
Westbrook fouled Lawson, who once again hit the first one. This time the second came off the rim and went out of bounds off an Oklahoma City player. Denver had the ball with 2.1 seconds to go.
Hickson got off a 3-pointer that hit nothing but backboard as the Thunder held on for the win.
Durant collected eight rebounds and six assists to go along with his 38 points on 11-of-27 shooting. Westbrook contributed 30 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists.
Lawson led Denver with 29 points and eight assists. Hickson had a game-high 19 rebounds to go with 18 points.
The Nuggets shot themselves in the foot by shooting 25-for-43 at the free throw line and were out-rebounded 53-45.
“Although I don’t believe in moral victories, there is a lot to be learned from this,” Denver coach Brian Shaw said. “We can’t coach effort. The effort was there. It’s just sad that it comes down to us missing 18 free throws and us giving up 19 offensive rebounds. The importance of the small details of making free throws and boxing out.”
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