(SportsNetwork.com) - Kevin Durant returned for the Oklahoma City Thunder last time out and the team will try to make a move in the standings, starting Friday night when the Washington Wizards visit Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Durant returned from a six-game absence to score a season-high 44 points with 10 rebounds and lead the Thunder to a 137-134 overtime win against the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday.
Durant sprained his right ankle after scoring 30 points in the first half at Golden State on Dec. 18, with the Thunder going 3-3 during his absence.
Russell Westbrook was ejected late in the first half after making a contested layup, then walking over to the Suns bench and taunting them. He finished with 20 points for the Thunder.
"That was a heck of a basketball game. Hard fought by both teams," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. "Both teams deserved to win this game."
Serge Ibaka chipped in 15 points, followed by 11 from Anthony Morrow and 10 out of Reggie Jackson.
The Thunder took a six-point lead in overtime and Phoenix couldn't catch up enough. That said, the Suns had a chance at victory late in the extra session, but couldn't score.
Friday's game represents the third in a five-game road trip for the Wizards. They opened with a solid, one-point victory in Houston, then followed the next night with a dud.
The Dallas Mavericks annihilated the Wizards, 114-87, for Washington's most lopsided loss of the season.
John Wall came back to earth with 11 points and eight assists -- a good game but average by his recent standards -- as Washington's three-game win streak came to a screeching halt.
Wall finished December with 10 double-doubles in 16 games, and the Wizards ended the month with a 12-4 record.
"They just beat us - in every phase of the game they were better than us tonight, and turnovers obviously being the biggest part - 33 to 6 in points off turnovers," Wizards coach Randy Wittman said.
The Mavericks built an 18-point lead in the second half and outscored Washington in each of the last two quarters as well to complete the rout.
Kris Humphries also scored 11 points, while Bradley Beal and Marcin Gortat had 10 apiece. The Wizards committed 23 turnovers, which the Mavs converted into 33 points, compared to seven from Dallas.
Washington will visit the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday, then the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday to close the trip.
The two teams split the last six meetings, although the Wizards have never beaten the Thunder in Oklahoma City in five tries.