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Durant´s 52 fires Thunder past Mavericks, Bulls edge Celtics

19 January 2013 07:25

Kevin Durant shot a career-high 52 points to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 117-114 overtime win against the Dallas Mavericks on Friday.

The Thunder led by nine points after the third term but Dallas responded to close within three points with just two seconds remaining on the clock.

But just as it appeared the Mavericks were headed for a loss, O.J Mayo stepped up to hit a three-pointer to send the home fans at the American Airlines Center into raptures and the game into overtime.

The extra period belonged to Durant with the four-time NBA All-Star hitting nine points, including a vital three-pointer, to lead his side to victory. He also grabbed nine rebounds for the match.

Russell Westbrook added 31 points of his own, while Kevin Martin and Serge Ibaka scored 11 points apiece.

Vince Carter had the opportunity to send the match into a second overtime period but missed a shot from beyond the arc as the Thunder got home.

Carter ended the night with 29 points off the bench with Mayo adding 18 and registering seven assists.

The win sees the Thunder move to 32-8 for the season and hold their place on top of the Western Conference.

Elsewhere, the Chicago Bulls also needed overtime to defeat the Boston Celtics 100-99 in a thrilling game at the TD Garden.

Marco Belinelli scored the winner with 3.1 seconds left and Jimmy Butler added six points in overtime to help the Bulls seal a memorable win.

Veteran big man Carlos Boozer was also a shining light for Chicago as he ended the night with 19 points and 20 rebounds while Rajon Rondo finished with a season-high 30 points before fouling out with a little over a minute to play in overtime.

The Celtics had a chance to win it at the death but Courtney Lee missed a three-pointer to see the Bulls extend their winning streak to three games.

The Philadelphia 76ers overcame a 19-point deficit to shock the Toronto Raptors 108-101, also in overtime.

Jrue Holiday showed yet again he is more than worthy of his first-career All-Star berth next month in Houston by posting a career-high 33 points, including 12 points in overtime, while also dishing out 14 assists.

The point-guard was helped by the solid performances of Thaddeus Young (27 points, 14 rebounds) and 12-point efforts by both Spencer Hawes and Lavoy Allen.

In the day's other games, the Washington Wizards made it three wins from four as they beat the Denver Nuggets 112-108, the Charlotte Bobcats snapped a five-game losing streak in their 106-100 win over the Orlando Magic and the Indiana Pacers beat the Houston Rockets 105-95.

The Memphis Grizzlies routed the Sacramento Kings 85-69, the Brooklyn Nets were 94-89 winners over the Atlanta Hawks and the San Antonio Spurs won their 14th straight home game as they beat the Golden State Warriors 95-88.

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