Fri, Feb 24, 2012 - Page 20 News List

NBA: Thunder pull away from Celtics with 119-104 win

LETTING IT ROLL:Oklahoma City extended their Western Conference lead to three games, while Chris Paul scored a season-high 36 points to lead Los Angeles past Denver

AP, OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA

The Oklahoma City Thunder made it 11 straight home wins with a 119-104 win over the Boston Celtics yesterday, extending their lead in the NBA Western Conference to three games.

Russell Westbrook scored 31 points and Kevin Durant added 28 for Oklahoma City, who led by as much as 27 points before Boston hit back to get within six with 3 minutes, 31 seconds left. Durant banked in a pair of jump shots and hit two free throws during an 11-2 run that sealed it.

Kevin Garnett’s return after a two-game absence was not enough to lift the Celtics, who were still without point guard Rajon Rondo as he served the second of a two-game suspension.

Paul Pierce and Garnett scored 23 points apiece, and Garnett also had 13 rebounds.

LAKERS 96, MAVERICKS 91

In Dallas, Andrew Bynum had 19 points and 14 rebounds as Los Angeles hit the halfway point of their season with a road win against defending champion Dallas.

Bynum grabbed a rebound of his own miss and was fouled trying to go back up with 5:29 left. He made both free throws to break an 82-82 tie and finally put the Lakers ahead to stay after 13 ties and 10 lead changes.

Pau Gasol had 24 points for Los Angeles.

Dirk Nowitzki had 25 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Mavericks.

CLIPPERS 103, NUGGETS 95

In Los Angeles, Chris Paul scored a season-high 36 points to lead Los Angeles past Denver.

Blake Griffin added 27. He and Paul are headed to the All-Star game as starters, having led their team to a 20-11 record in the first half of the lockout-shortened season.

Arron Afflalo scored 20 points for the injury-riddled Nuggets, who lost their fifth in a row on the road. They played without Danilo Gallinari, Ty Lawson, Nene and Rudy Fernandez.

BULLS 110, BUCKS 91

In Chicago, the hosts beat Milwaukee for the seventh straight time.

Carlos Boozer scored 20 points, while Joakim Noah had 13 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists for the first triple-double by a Chicago center since Artis Gilmore in 1977.

The Central Division leaders built an 11-point halftime lead and broke it open in the third quarter, a nice send-off for the All-Star break.

Brandon Jennings scored 20 points to lead the Bucks.

ROCKETS 93, 76ERS 87

In Houston, Luis Scola had 19 points and 10 rebounds to lead Houston to a tight win over Philadelphia.

Kyle Lowry added 13 points and two crucial late three-pointers for the Rockets, who have won three in a row and snapped a four-game home-court losing streak to Philadelphia.

Nikola Vucevic scored a career-high 18 points for the Sixers, who will head into the All-Star break on a five-game losing skid.

MAGIC 108, NETS 91

In Newark, Dwight Howard had 20 points and 17 rebounds to help Orlando roll to victory against New Jersey.

Glen Davis, who hit his first seven shots, added 16 points for the Magic, who shot 62.5 percent in the opening 12 minutes to jump out to a 34-17 lead.

Deron Williams had 23 points, six rebounds and eight assists to lead New Jersey.

TIMBERWOLVES 100, JAZZ 98

In Minneapolis, Luke Ridnour hit a floater at the buzzer, capping Minnesota’s comeback from 16 points down in the fourth quarter to beat Utah.

Utah’s Al Jefferson sank a jumper to tie the score 98-98 with seven seconds remaining. After a timeout, Ridnour took a pass from J.J. Barea, drove into the lane and sank a shot over Jefferson as the buzzer sounded.

Barea finished with 22 points and matched a career high with five three-pointers, and Ridnour added 17 points.

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