• Durant, Westbrook lead Thunder past Bobcats
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     | March 03,2014
     
    AP Photo

    Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant dunks the ball in front of Charlotte Bobcats forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist during Sunday’s game in Oklahoma City.

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Kevin Durant scored 28 points and Russell Westbrook had 26 to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder past the Charlotte Bobcats 116-99 Sunday night.

    Durant made just 8 of 24 field goals, but sank all 12 of his free throws.

    Westbrook was 10 of 12 from the floor in 25 minutes in his fifth game since returning from right knee surgery. Reggie Jackson scored 17 points and Serge Ibaka had 15 points and 10 rebounds for Oklahoma City, which won its second straight after losing its first three games following the All-Star break. Oklahoma City outrebounded the Bobcats 44-29.

    Al Jefferson scored 25 points and Anthony Tolliver added 17 for the Bobcats, who had won four straight before losses to San Antonio and Oklahoma City.

    Westbrook scored 17 points on 7-for-7 shooting in the first half to help the Thunder take a 61-55 lead at the break. Jefferson had 15 points on 7-for-9 shooting. The Bobcats shot 54 percent in the first half, but were outrebounded 20-13.

    The Bobcats started off hot in the second half. A 3-point play by Gerald Henderson trimmed Oklahoma City’s lead to 61-60. The Thunder responded with a 6-0 run, including two putback baskets by Steven Adams, to take a 67-60 lead.

    Westbrook showed some of his famed explosiveness after a steal. He drove down court, then extended his right arm and elevated for a powerful one-handed throwdown to give the Thunder a 77-67 lead.

    The Bobcats hung tough and trailed just 85-81 at the end of the third quarter. Charlotte cut the deficit to 86-84 early in the fourth quarter, but the Thunder responded with an 8-2 run. A perfectly executed pick-and-roll ended with Durant scoring on a pass from Westbrook, and Ibaka scored on the next possession to give the Thunder a 104-92 lead and put the game out of reach.

    NOTES: Oklahoma City general manager Sam Presti announced before the game that Thunder guard Thabo Sefolosha would miss four to six weeks with a left calf strain. Sefolosha left Friday’s game against Memphis in the first half and didn’t return. ... Several Oklahoma City players, including Durant and Westbrook, traveled to Stillwater, Okla., Saturday night to watch Oklahoma State upset No. 5 Kansas. ... Presti said new acquisition Caron Butler will be with the team Monday after the Thunder signed him Saturday. ... Durant was called for a technical foul in the first quarter after being whistled for a carry and disagreeing with the call.

    SPURS 112, MAVS 106

    SAN ANTONIO — Tony Parker had 22 points and seven assists in his return from a six-game absence, leading the San Antonio Spurs’ balanced attack in a 112-106 win over the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday night.

    Tim Duncan scored 17 points, Kawhi Leonard added 16 and Boris Diaw had 13 points and 10 rebounds for San Antonio. Manu Ginobili had 15 points and seven assists and Tiago Splitter had 11 points as the Spurs extended their winning streak to three games.

    Dirk Nowitzki scored 22 points, Vince Carter added 21 and Monta Ellis had 17 for the Mavericks, who have lost eight straight to the Spurs.

    Parker looked refreshed after not playing since Feb. 10 for what was officially listed as “rest,” but unofficially was due to a series of lower body maladies.

    The French point guard made his first shot, exploding through the lane from the top of the right side of the 3-point line to the left side of the rim for a leaning layup beyond the reach of Samuel Dalembert.

    On the ensuing possession, Parker drove into the heart of the paint to draw the defense and fired a pass to Leonard for an open 3-pointer that gave San Antonio a 5-2 lead.

    Parker finished the game 10 for 15, punctuating it with a left-handed layup to avoid Dalembert’s reach with 45 seconds remaining.

    Carter kept the Mavericks in the game almost single-handedly in the first half, draining three straight 3s in the final 4 minutes after missing his first two attempts. He finished the first half shooting 6 for 11 from the field while scoring15 points.

    Ellis banked in a 3-pointer to the dismay of Ginobili, pulling Dallas within 48-47 at the half.

    San Antonio could not extend their advantage to more than seven points in the third until Ginobili scored eight straight points, including a pair of 3-pointers, for its biggest lead at 78-67 with a minute remaining.

    NOTES: The Spurs have had 24 different lineups this season. . San Antonio has won 12 of 14 regular-season games against Dallas. The Mavericks have not beaten the Spurs since a 106-99 victory on March 17, 2012, in Dallas. . Ginobili trails only former Mavericks F Detlef Schrempf for the most games with at least 15 points, five rebounds and five assists off the bench since 1985. Schrempf had 55 games with that stat line and Ginobili has 30. . Dallas is 28-7 when leading after the first half and 8-18 when trailing. . San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich and Nowitzki engaged in somewhat contentious banter during the game. When Nowitzki was whistled for fouling Parker on a drive, he yelled at official Derek Richardson as he left for a substitution, “Just because (Popovich’s) yelling doesn’t mean there’s a foul.”

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