Dallas Mavericks beat Thunder, 100-86

BY MIKE BALDWIN, Staff Writer, mbaldwin@opubco.com Modified: December 16, 2009 at 10:50 pm •  Published: December 16, 2009

In a matchup of two of the league’s top scorers, Dirk Nowitzki outperformed Kevin Durant Wednesday night at the Ford Center.

Led by Nowitzki’s 35 points, the Mavericks pulled away late to post a 100-86 win in front a sellout crowd and ESPN national audience.

While Nowitzki seemed to never miss (13-of-18) Durant couldn’t get anything to fall.

Durant, 4-of-18 from the field, matched his season low (12 points) only because he drained a 3-pointer in the final minute with the outcome already decided.

The Thunder has lost three consecutive games, its longest losing streak of the season to fall to 12-12.

Eerily similar to his career worst 3-of-20 performance earlier this season against Portland, Durant struggled from the outset.

Led by a strong effort from its bench, the Thunder was in the game until Nowitzki and the Mavs began to pull away the final four minutes, turning a 77-76 lead intoa 90-80 cushion.

The Thunder’s bench provided a spark all night, matching the Mavs veteran, deep bench led by Jason Terry almost bucket for bucket.

Rookie James Harden (12 points), Nick Collison (eight points, six rebounds) and Serge Ibaka (six points, six rebounds, two blocks).