Durant scores 52, Thunder top Mavs 117-114 in OT

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 19, 2013 at 12:56 am •  Published: January 19, 2013
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DALLAS (AP) — Kevin Durant hardly seemed bothered by O.J. Mayo's tying 3-pointer in the final seconds of regulation.

It just gave the Oklahoma City star a chance for a career high and the first 50-point game in the NBA this season.

Durant scored 52 points, including the go-ahead basket with 16.9 seconds remaining in overtime, and the Thunder turned away a big Dallas rally for a 117-114 victory that extended their winning streak to six games and ended the Mavericks' season-best run of four straight.

A night after being voted a starter for the All-Star game, Durant had a little trouble from the field, going 13 of 31. But he was 21 of 21 from the foul line, and the Thunder made all 12 of their free throws in the fourth quarter.

That looked as though it would be enough to hold off the Mavericks until Mayo hit his tying 3-pointer with two defenders in his face with 2.3 seconds left in regulation.

Vince Carter, who kept the Mavericks close when Oklahoma City threatened to blow them out in the first half, had a season-high 29 points. He hit three free throws to start overtime when he was fouled on a 3-pointer, but Durant answered with a pair of freebies on the other end.

Durant went on to score nine of Oklahoma City's 12 points in overtime and had three go-ahead buckets to help the Thunder avoid losing for the first time in 28 games when leading after three quarters. The Thunder blew a 14-point lead in the second half.

"Experience has helped me a lot," said Durant, whose previous career high was 51 against Denver last February. "If I look like I'm out there panicking, my teammates will look at me and feel the same way. I've got to be cool. If I miss a shot, so be it. I'm sure opportunity will come back around sooner or later."

Dirk Nowitzki bounced back from a dreadful shooting night to score 12 in the fourth quarter, but the Mavericks couldn't get him the ball trailing by two in the final seconds of overtime. Mike James, who came in shooting less than 20 percent but had hit a go-ahead 3 earlier in the extra period, ended up with the ball well behind the arc with the shot clock dwindling. His shot barely hit the front of the rim.

Russell Westbrook, who scored 31, missed a free throw to give the Mavericks one more chance to tie, but Carter's desperation 3 at the buzzer was short.

"The play blew up and Mike ended up with it, and it was unfair to him," Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said. "It was a play that didn't work, and it was my responsibility."