Nowitzki scores 32 points as Mavs beat Thunder
DALLAS (AP) – Dirk Nowitzki scored seven of his 32 points in overtime, leading the Dallas Mavericks to a 128-119 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday night.
Nowitzki also had 10 rebounds and six assists. In Dallas’ loss to Brooklyn on Sunday, he was 2 for 12 from the field in his worst shooting performance of the season.
Kevin Durant led Oklahoma City with 43 points. He has scored at least 25 in 36 consecutive games in the longest such streak since Michael Jordan’s 40-game run during the 1986-87 season.
Dallas had seven players score in double figures. Jose Calderon went 6 for 8 from 3-point range and finished with 22 points.
Russell Westbrook scored 23 for Oklahoma City. All of his points came in regulation, when he played 31:50. He added another minute in overtime.
Westbrook is limited to 30 to 32 minutes per game because of his oft-injured right knee.
The Mavericks scored the first five points of the extra period on two free throws by Nowitzki and a 3-pointer by Calderon. They never trailed again.
The victory pushed Dallas into eighth place in the Western Conference, a half-game ahead of idle Phoenix. The Mavericks improved to 3-2 on a franchise-long, eight-game homestand, with three of the games going to overtime. They began the homestand in seventh place, 1 ahead of the ninth-place Suns.
Dallas won 109-86 at Oklahoma City on March 16 with Westbrook sitting out. The dynamic guard returned to the Thunder’s starting lineup after missing their home victory over Denver on Monday.
The Mavericks led 28-24 after one, but Reggie Jackson’s jumper put the Thunder in front for the first time at 34-32 with 7:54 left in the first half.
Westbrook was the catalyst of Oklahoma City’s second-quarter rally. He scored 10 points in the period, including a foul shot that gave Oklahoma City a 57-48 lead with 1:25 to go.
But the Mavericks answered with three consecutive 3-pointers – one from Calderon and two from Vince Carter – to tie it with 33.4 left in the half. Durant then hit a 3 to give Oklahoma City a 60-59 lead at the break.
The Thunder hit 14 of 18 shots in the period and shot 57.1 percent for the half.
NOTES: Calderon returned after chipping a facial bone between his nose and mouth in the first minute on Sunday against Brooklyn. … Thunder center Kendrick Perkins, sidelined since Feb. 20 with a groin strain, is hoping to return for Oklahoma City’s game at Houston on April 4.