Kevin Durant scored 28 points, Russell Westbrook had 15 points and nine assists, and the Oklahoma City Thunder took advantage of the absence of Mavericks scoring leader Dirk Nowitzki for a 99-95 victory last night in Dallas.
Nowitzki is day-to-day and there had been speculation that he might try to play against the Thunder. He has been shooting at practices.
Dallas also is missing No. 3 scorer Caron Butler, out for the season after tearing a tendon in his right knee.
Jeff Green had 16 points and nine rebounds, and Serge Ibaka added 13 points and eight rebounds to help the Thunder avoid their first three-game losing streak of the season.
“When you lose two games in a row, it kind of snowballs and you don’t want that to happen,’’ Durant said. “And this team (the Mavs) is good at home, and they didn’t have Dirk, their best player, or Caron, but they’re a fast team and players stepped up. So you had to be locked in from the beginning and not take this team for granted, and I think we did a good job of that.’’
Shawn Marion had a season-high 25 points for the Mavericks, who were without Nowitzki for a career-high sixth straight game with a sprained right knee.
Kings 122, Nuggets 102 — Tyreke Evans had 27 points and a season-high 12 assists to help host Sacramento rout Denver.
The Kings scored the first 11 points of the fourth quarter to build a 21-point lead in their highest-scoring game of the season. They shot 56 percent and gave coach Paul Westphal his 300th career victory.
Carmelo Anthony had 26 points for Denver.