Durant leads Thunder back to West lead...Heat dump Magic again
UNDATED (AP) - Kevin Durant allowed the Oklahoma City Thunder to shake off back-to-back home losses.
Durant scored 23 of his season-high 48 points in the fourth quarter of the Thunder's 115-111 victory at Minnesota. Durant allowed Oklahoma City to rally from a 13-point deficit, hitting four 3-pointers in the final period and adding the tiebreaking jumper with four seconds left. He also iced the victory by hitting two free throws with about two seconds remaining.
The outcome puts the Thunder atop the NBA's Western Conference, a half-game ahead of Portland and San Antonio.
The Trail Blazers lost the conference lead by falling 101-99 to Philadelphia. Thaddeus Young scored 30 points for the 76ers, who trailed by seven heading into the fourth quarter. Evan Turner had 23 points and Michael Carter-Williams added 16 and nine rebounds in the Sixers' fourth consecutive win.
The Spurs kept pace with Oklahoma City as Tiago Splitter had a season-high 22 points before injuring his right shoulder in the fourth quarter of a 116-92 romp over the Los Angeles Clippers. Tim Duncan finished with 19 points and 11 rebounds against the Clippers, who played their first game since Chris Paul separated his right shoulder on Friday.
Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh had 20 points apiece as Miami beat the Magic 110-94. The Magic led 57-54 early in the third quarter before LeBron James hit a layup to ignite a 19-2 run.
The Heat remain 1 1/2 games behind East-leading Indiana after the Pacers rallied from a seven-point, halftime deficit to beat New Orleans 99-82. Paul George contributed 24 points and 10 rebounds, while Lance Stephenson added 19 points on 8 of 12 shooting.
In other NBA action:
- Gerald Green had a season-best 24 points and a career-high five steals as Phoenix hammered Milwaukee 116-100. Channing Frye shot 6-for-9 from 3-point range and finished with 22 points in the Suns' 11th victory in 14 games.
- Mike Dunleavy scored a game-high 20 points and three other Chicago players had double doubles in a 91-84 win over Atlanta. Luol Deng (LOO'-ul deng) finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds for the Bulls, while Taj Gibson and Joakim Noah each added 10 points and 12 rebounds.
- Brooklyn picked up its second straight win as Deron Williams scored 21 points and Paul Pierce added 17 in the Nets' 89-82 triumph against Cleveland. Pierce's third point of the night moved him ahead of Allen Iverson for 19th on the NBA scoring list.
- Kemba Walker and Al Jefferson combined for 57 points in Charlotte's 113-104 win at Sacramento. Walker shot 4 for 6 from beyond the arc and finished with 30 points while Jefferson added 27 to help the Bobcats end a four-game losing streak.