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Nowitzki scores 35 in Mavs' 100-86 win over Thunder

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[December 17, 2009]  OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Dirk Nowitzki had 35 points and 11 rebounds, and the Dallas Mavericks used a late surge to spoil the debut of Kevin Durant's new bright orange sneakers and beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 100-86 Wednesday night.

Durant broke out Creamsicle orange KD2 sneakers for the first time, and most of his teammates joined him in wearing the new Nike shoes. But Durant, the NBA's third-leading scorer, matched his lowest-scoring total of the season with only 12 points on 4-for-18 shooting.

RestaurantErick Dampier swatted away Durant's layup try amid a 21-5 run that put the Mavericks in control in the fourth quarter.

Reserve Josh Howard had 15 points, Shawn Marion scored 12 and Dampier finished with 10.

Russell Westbrook led Oklahoma City with 16 points. Jeff Green added 15 points and 11 rebounds, and rookie James Harden had 12 points off the bench.

Oklahoma City held Dallas scoreless for the first 4 minutes of the fourth quarter to open a 75-71 lead before the Mavericks made their final push. J.J. Barea's jumper from the foul line gave Dallas the lead for good at 77-75 with 7:04 to play, and Nowitzki extended the lead with jumpers on back-to-back possessions.


Nowitzki then found Dampier under the basket for a layup and banked in a 3-pointer to give Dallas its first double-digit lead at 90-80 with 1:44 left.

Even Durant's first 3-pointer in the final minute couldn't ignite a Thunder comeback as the Mavericks pushed their winning streak to five games.

Oklahoma City has lost three in a row for the second time this season and fell back to .500 at 12-12.

Dallas withstood Oklahoma City's 9-for-11 shooting start and rallied back from a 19-10 deficit to tie it at 24 on Jason Terry's 3-pointer in the closing seconds of the first quarter. The Thunder kept Dallas at bay until midway through the third quarter, when Nowitzki hit a 13-foot jumper in the lane to give the Mavs a 57-56 edge -- their first lead since the opening minutes.

He had another jumper sandwiched between baskets by Howard as the Mavericks scored six in a row to go up 66-60, and the lead reached seven when Nowitzki stole the ball and hit a 3-pointer. But Oklahoma City used a 13-2 charge to go back ahead. Serge Ibaka's two-handed jam off an offensive rebound put the Thunder up 75-71 with 8:18 to play.

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NOTES: Even Ibaka and Etan Thomas, the two Oklahoma City players who wear adidas shoes, picked out orange ones. The Thunder also distributed orange rally towels to the sellout crowd of 18,203 ... Howard continued his comeback from offseason left ankle surgery with a season-high 29 minutes for the second straight game. "Having him off the bench, it's a plus for us right now. His minutes have been inching up gradually. That's probably good," Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said. ... The Tulsa 66ers, Oklahoma City's NBA Development League affiliate, signed former Virginia Tech guard Zabian Dowdell on Wednesday and waived guard Mitch Johnson.

[Associated Press; By JEFF LATZKE]

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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