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News » Thunder 96, Mavericks 87

Thunder 96, Mavericks 87

Thunder 96, Mavericks 87
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - With his team trying to protect a thin lead for the last playoff spot in the West, Rick Carlisle didn't see the kind of fight he'd hoped for from the Dallas Mavericks.

Instead, it was the last-place Oklahoma City Thunder providing some unexpected punch without Kevin Durant or Jeff Green in the lineup.

Russell Westbrook had the first triple-double of his rookie season with 17 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, and midseason pickup Nenad Krstic added a season-high 26 points as the undermanned Thunder beat Dallas 96-87 Monday night without their two leading scorers.

Westbrook, chosen the Western Conference Rookie of the Month earlier in the day, got the final assist and rebound he needed in the last 45 seconds to seal the franchise's first triple-double since it moved from Seattle in the offseason.

"He was big. He's been big," said guard Thabo Sefolosha. "He's a great player and he showed it tonight with two of our main guys out. He really stepped up."

Dirk Nowitzki scored 16 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter to lead Dallas back from 23 points down, cutting the deficit to 88-84 with his 3-pointer from the right wing with 4:13 to play. The Mavericks then went scoreless for the next 4 minutes to take a costly loss in the playoff race.

Dallas now leads Phoenix by only 1 1/2 games for the last playoff spot in the West.

"If anybody thinks it's going to be easy, I don't know where they've been for the first 60 games because nothing's come easy for us," Carlisle said.

"The guy I feel for is (owner) Mark Cuban tonight. He lives and dies with this team, and to see the way we played the first three quarters, we should all be ashamed."

Jason Terry scored 20 points for Dallas in his second game back after surgery on an injured finger. The Mavericks played the second half without Josh Howard, their third-leading scorer, after a troublesome left ankle flared up again. He missed 11 games earlier this season because of the injury.

Carlisle wasn't looking for any excuses, though.

"I just thought that the first three quarters were just a pitiful display for a team that has aspirations to be in the playoffs and try to move up in the standings," Carlisle said. "We've seen this before, too many times.

"We (mess) around for two to three quarters and then we want Jason Kidd to bail us out with steals and hustle plays and fast-break opportunities. It's just too much to ask."

The late surge was almost enough for a team that overcame a 12-point deficit in the fourth quarter of an overtime win against the Thunder only three days earlier.

"Losing the last game against them after overtime, we felt like we really had to come big tonight and prove to them and prove to our fans that we could beat them," Sefolosha said.

Westbrook joined 13 other players in franchise history with a triple-double. Earl Watson was the last, on Feb. 6, 2008 at Sacramento.

"It feels good, especially with a win," Westbrook said. "I think if I keep coming out and playing aggressively, I'll get another one - hopefully."

Cavaliers 107, Heat 100

At Miami, LeBron James scored 42 points, Mo Williams got 17 of his 30 in the fourth quarter, and the Cavaliers rallied from an 11-point deficit in the final minutes.

Dwyane Wade had 41 points, nine assists, seven rebounds and seven steals for Miami following his 46-point effort two nights earlier against New York.

Williams got the comeback going with two huge 3-pointers to spark a 12-0 run. And James sealed it with 42.7 seconds left with a fierce right-handed slam.

Cleveland moved a full game ahead of idle Boston for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.

Spurs 106, Clippers 78

At Los Angeles, Tony Parker had 26 points and 10 assists, and the Spurs pulled away in the third quarter with four 3-pointers from Michael Finley.

Tim Duncan had 18 points, 12 rebounds and six assists. The 11-time All-Star needs 18 points to overtake Scottie Pippen for 44th place on the career scoring list.

Al Thornton and Fred Jones each had 14 points for the Clippers, who have lost 11 straight against San Antonio and 19 of the last 20 meetings.

Hornets 98, 76ers 91

At Philadelphia, David West had 30 points with 10 rebounds to lead the Hornets to their season-best fifth straight win. West scored the Hornets' first 12 points as they raced to a 13-point lead.

The Sixers lost for the sixth time in eight games since the All-Star break. Andre Iguodala scored 30 points and Andre Miller had 28 for Philadelphia.

Hawks 98, Wizards 89

At Washington, Marvin Williams scored 28 points, and the Hawks completed a 4-0 season sweep of the Wizards. Al Horford added 16 points, and Joe Johnson had 16 points and 13 rebounds for the Hawks, who broke open a tie game with a 20-6 run that started late in the third quarter and went well into the fourth.

Washington fell to 0-13 against the Southeast Division and is just three games away from becoming the first NBA team to go winless within its division.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: March 3, 2009


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