Dallas, TX – Kevin Durant posted a career-high 52 points and hit the go-ahead shot with 16.5 seconds left in overtime to boost the Oklahoma City Thunder to a dramatic 117-114 win over the Dallas Mavericks.
Durant topped the 40-point mark for the third time in his last five games and made all 21 of his foul shots, but his best was saved for last against the team the Thunder swept in the first round of the playoffs in 2012. Durant shot just 13-of-31 from the field.
"We won the game by shooting 41 percent because we got key stops when we needed it," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. "Sometimes when your shot doesn't fall, you've got to find a way to attack the basket and will yourself to get opportunities. He did that tonight and got opportunities at the free throw line. He's an amazing player and he deserves everything that he has earned. And I like the fact that he's focused on doing the little things to help us win."
Dirk Nowitzki, who had 18 points on 5-of-19 shooting for the Mavericks, made 1-of-2 foul shots with 41.8 seconds left to tie the game at 114.
Durant then drove to the foul line and lifted a shot over Shawn Marion to give the Thunder the lead.
"Experience is helping me a lot," Durant said. "Just knowing that if I look like I'm out there panicking my team teammates are going to be looking at me the same way. So, I've got to be cool. If I miss a shot, so be it. I'm sure the opportunity will come back around sooner or later. So, I've just got to be cool, and be confident, and tonight it fell for me."
A 3-point shot from Mike James caromed off the front of the rim, and Russell Westbrook sank 1-of-2 free throws with 2.7 seconds to go.
"The play blew up and Mike ended up with it and it was unfair to him. It was a play that didn't work and it was my responsibility," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said.
Oklahoma City, which gained its sixth straight win and moved to an NBA-best 32-8, held on when Vince Carter's 3-point try from the right corner came up short.
Westbrook ended with 31 points, while the Mavericks were paced by Carter's season-bet 29 points in a reserve role. Dallas had a four-game winning streak broken and fell to 1-8 in overtime this season.
Serge Ibaka added 11 points and 14 rebounds for the Thunder.
O.J. Mayo also scored 18 for Dallas, which received 10 points and 13 boards from Elton Brand. Darren Collison had 15 points.
Mayo's 3-pointer with 2.3 seconds left in the fourth quarter forced the overtime.
Prior to that, the Thunder held a sizeable lead from early in the second period until early in the final quarter. The difference was as big as 14 in the second quarter, but the Mavericks got within three early in the third before the visitors pumped the margin back to 14.
The Thunder held an 81-72 advantage moving to the fourth, and Nowitzki's two free throws finally pushed Dallas ahead 90-89 at the midway point.
Oklahoma City scored 24 points off 16 Dallas turnovers ... The Thunder have captured the last four regular season meetings.