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Dirk damages Thunder down stretch as Mavs survive in OT

DALLAS -- Even with Oklahoma City missing Kevin Durant, the Dallas Mavericks turned to two of its stars to fend off the Thunder on Friday night.

Dirk Nowitzki scored 17 of his 41 points in the fourth quarter and overtime, Jason Kidd hit two big 3-pointers in the extra period, and the Mavericks overcame a 12-point deficit to beat the short-handed Oklahoma City Thunder 110-108.

After struggling for most of the second half, Nowitzki scored 12 points in the final 4:47 of the fourth quarter and hit two straight baskets in overtime to give the Mavericks the lead. Kidd was 0-of-5 from the floor before scoring all 10 of his points in OT.

"It showed we can put it together pretty quickly when we have to," Kidd said. "That's a lesson learned. We've got to win these games."

Oklahoma City played most of the way without Kevin Durant, who sprained his right ankle and left the contest with 4:21 remaining in the first quarter.

Durant left the arena in crutches and wearing a protective boot. His status is day-to-day.

Despite the loss of the NBA's fourth-leading scorer, the Thunder led by 12 midway through the fourth quarter and then overcame a five-point deficit to force overtime.

Oklahoma City is 3-17 in games decided by six points or less.

"With Kevin out, we had to step up and really play together," Oklahoma City forward Jeff Green said. "We still had a chance with a couple of big plays we could have made."

Nowitzki hit two free throws to give the Mavericks the lead in overtime, then followed with a 3-pointer that gave the Mavericks a 103-99 advantage with 1:39 left. It was his fourth 40-point game of the season and 12th of his career.

"It was definitely a lucky win," said Nowitzki, who'd scored only three points in the second half before breaking out late. "It doesn't happen very often when you're down that much that late and come back."

Russell Westbrook, who hit a 3-pointer to send it to overtime, scored 33 points and Green added 28 points for the Thunder, who have lost seven straight.

Dallas' Josh Howard had 13 points and James Singleton added 12 points and nine rebounds.

"We're fortunate," Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. "Kidd made plays, Dirk made plays and we lived to fight another day."

Durant apparently hurt himself when he stepped on Howard's foot on a drive to the basket. He stayed in the game for three more minutes before leaving with a slight limp.

The former University of Texas star finished with a season-low six points after scoring at least 30 in nine of his last 10 games.

Thunder interim coach Scott Brooks did not know how much more action Durant would miss.

"We obviously know Kevin is one of our better players," Brooks said. "But that's part of it. We can't worry about it. We have to fight through it and continue to get better."

The Mavericks trailed 87-75 with just over five minutes left in regulation before going on a 16-0 run. Nowitzki scored 10 in the surge, including a jumper that gave Dallas an 89-87 lead.

Still ahead 95-90, Dallas fouled Westbrook shooting a 3-pointer with 22.7 seconds left. He hit the first two free throws and Nenad Krstic grabbed the miss on the third attempt.

Krstic gave the ball back Westbrook, who hit a tying 3-pointer.

Dallas had a chance to win it in the final seconds but was denied when Howard couldn't handle an inbounds pass and lost the ball with 2 seconds remaining.

"We fouled 3-point shooters and didn't box out on a free throw," Nowitzki said. "That shouldn't happen to a veteran team."

Kidd, who had 13 assists, opened the extra period with a 3 and drained another to give Dallas a 106-101 advantage with 20.7 seconds left in overtime.

Nowitzki and Kidd each hit a pair of free throws in the final 20 seconds to seal it.

Game notes
The Mavericks have won eight in a row at home over the Thunder. Six of those came while the franchise was in Seattle. ... The Thunder have lost eight straight on the road, dropping to 3-25.

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