Durant scores 51 as Thunder top Nuggets 124-118
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – 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 Sunday.
Durant hit a 3-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.
KNICKS 104, MAVERICKS 97
At New York, Jeremy Lin had 28 points and a career-high 14 assists, and Steve Novak made four 3-pointers in the fourth quarter as New York ended Dallas’ six-game winning streak.
J.R. Smith scored 15 points in his Knicks debut and Novak had all of his 14 in the final period as New York won for the eighth time in nine games.
In a game of wild momentum swings, the Knicks reeled off 17 straight points in the first quarter, fell behind by 12 in the third, then pulled it out to beat the Mavericks for only the third time in the last 20 meetings.
Dirk Nowitzki scored a season-high 34 points for the Mavericks, who had been playing championship-level defense but became the latest team who couldn’t stop Lin.
HEAT 90, MAGIC 78
At Miami, 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 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
At Minneapolis, 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
At Phoenix, 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 3-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.
PISTONS 96, CELTICS 81
At Auburn Hills, Michigan, Greg Monroe had 17 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists, and Rodney Stuckey added 16 points to lead surging Detroit over Boston.
Detroit has won seven of its last nine games, including two victories in five days over the Celtics, who were missing Kevin Garnett (personal reasons) and Brandon Bass (left knee).
Paul Pierce led Boston with 18 points.
PACERS 108, BOBCATS 73
At Indianapolis, Roy Hibbert had 18 points and 14 rebounds to lead Indiana over Charlotte.
Danny Granger and David West each scored 14 points for the Pacers, who have won two in a row following a season-long five-game losing streak. West also grabbed eight rebounds.
Derrick Brown had 16 points and Kemba Walker 15 for the Bobcats (4-27), who have lost 17 of their last 18 games and never led in this one.
CAVALIERS 93, KINGS 92
At Cleveland, Kyrie Irving’s two free throws with 0.4 seconds remaining gave Cleveland a win over Sacramento, extending the Kings’ losing streak to five games.
Irving scored 23 points and Antawn Jamison added 21 for the Cavaliers.
Isaiah Thomas, making his second start, scored a career-high 23 points and had 11 assists for the Kings.
ROCKETS 101, JAZZ 85
At Houston, Kyle Lowry scored 32 points and Luis Scola had 26 as Houston fought off a late run by Utah.
The Jazz cut Houston’s double-digit lead to two with a big fourth-quarter spurt before an 8-2 run by the Rockets stretched their lead to 88-80 with four minutes left.
Al Jefferson, coming off a season-high 34 points Friday, led the Jazz with 23 points and 11 rebounds.
Lowry’s 32 points were one shy of his season high. He made seven of eight 3-pointers, was 7 of 7 on free throws and had nine assists as the Rockets improved to 2-1 on a six-game homestand.
BUCKS 92, NETS 85
At Newark, New Jersey, Ersan Ilyasova had career highs of 29 points and 25 rebounds as Milwaukee snapped a four-game losing streak while spoiling the season debut of New Jersey center Brook Lopez.
Ilyasova’s 25 rebounds tied the NBA single-game high this season set Jan. 18 by Orlando’s Dwight Howard in an overtime game against San Antonio. The 6-foot-10 forward from Turkey fouled out with 2:01 to play after being the difference-maker all night, including a key 3-pointer with 4:56 to play after the Nets cut a 16-point deficit to seven.
Brandon Jennings added 17 points as the Bucks won for only the third time in 10 games.
Deron Williams had 26 points to lead New Jersey.