Tue, Feb 21, 2012 - Page 19 News List

NBA: Durant, Thunder thrash the Nuggets

FINALS BOUND:The Miami Heat continued their stellar run against the Orlando Magic, although their spread was dropped to 12 points, the lowest in their winning steak

AP, OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA

The New York Knicks’ Jeremy Lin, left, jumps for a rebound against the Dallas Mavericks’ Dirk Nowitzki during their NBA game in -Madison Square Garden in New York on Sunday.

Photo: EPA

Kevin Durant scored a career-best 51 points for the top performance in the NBA this season, Russell Westbrook added 40 and Serge Ibaka had his first career triple-double as the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Denver Nuggets 124-118 in overtime on Sunday.

Durant hit a three-pointer and drove for a dunk to tie the game with 4.4 seconds left in regulation, then used the extra period to chalk up the first 50-point game of the two-time scoring champion’s career.

Ibaka added 14 points, 15 rebounds and 11 blocks to become the 14th player in franchise history with a triple-double.

Arron Afflalo scored 27 points and Andre Miller had 21 points and 10 assists for Denver, which squandered a chance to win at the end of regulation.

HEAT 90, MAGIC 78

In Miami, Florida, Dwyane Wade scored 27 points and LeBron James had 25 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists as NBA-leading Miami beat Orlando for their sixth consecutive victory.

With former US president Bill Clinton sitting courtside next to Heat managing general partner Micky Arison, Udonis Haslem scored 10 for the Heat, who improved to 25-7, a half-game better than Chicago for the best record in the NBA and Eastern Conference. The 12-point final margin was Miami’s smallest during its current winning streak.

Wade made 13 of 23 shots from the floor, shooting 50 percent or better for the 10th straight game.

TIMBERWOLVES 92, 76ERS 91

In Minneapolis, Minnesota, Kevin Love scored 12 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter, including a pair of free throws with 0.1 -seconds left, to lead Minnesota over Philadelphia.

Ricky Rubio had a career-high 22 points to go with six rebounds and five assists. His backup, J.J. Barea, added 14 points to help offset another strong game by Jrue Holiday of the Sixers. Holiday had 20 points on 10-for-20 shooting, plus five rebounds and three steals.

SUNS 102, LAKERS 90

In Phoenix, Arizona, Jared Dudley scored a season-high 25 points and Marcin Gortat had 21 points and 15 rebounds as Phoenix held on to beat Los Angeles, ending a four-game losing streak. Kobe Bryant scored 32 points, but was 1 of 8 on three-pointers and committed 10 turnovers, one short of his career worst.

Grant Hill scored 15 points and Steve Nash had 14 assists for the Suns. Pau Gasol added 17 points and 12 rebounds and Andrew Bynum had 16 points and 10 boards for the Lakers.

In other NBA play, it was:

‧ Pistons 96, Celtics 81

‧ Pacers 108, Bobcats 73

‧ Cavaliers 93, Kings 92

‧ Rockets 101, Jazz 85

‧ Bucks 92, Nets 85

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