Thunder rallies, nips Nuggets

The Associated PressNovember 19, 2013 

Thunder forward Kevin Durant loses the ball after being fouled in the third quarter. Durant scored 38 in the Oklahoma City victory.

SUE OGROCKI/THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

OKLAHOMA CITY — Kevin Durant scored 38 points, Russell Westbrook had 30 points and 12 rebounds and the Oklahoma City Thunder rallied to beat the Denver Nuggets 115-113 on Monday night.

Westbrook also had seven assists in a terrific all-around game that helped the Thunder erase a 14-point deficit in the second half. Reggie Jackson added 14 points.

With the score tied at 105, Serge Ibaka pulled down an offensive rebound and found Durant for a 3-pointer that put Oklahoma City (7-3) ahead to stay. Jeremy Lamb and Derek Fisher each hit a pair of free throws in the final 14 seconds to help the Thunder hold on.

Ty Lawson led Denver (4-6) with 29 points and eight assists. J.J. Hickson had 18 points and 19 rebounds for the Nuggets, who led the entire game except for the first 18 seconds of the first quarter and the final 1:26 of the fourth.

First-year Denver coach Brian Shaw said his team’s outside shooting had been a sore spot coming into the game, but the Nuggets connected on four of their first seven 3-point attempts. Denver shot 59 percent from the field while grabbing a 39-28 lead after the first quarter.

Oklahoma City began the second quarter on a 10-2 run, but UW graduate Nate Robinson scored eight points that helped the Nuggets to a 13-point lead.

Denver watched it’s lead evaporate in the third as the Thunder rallied for their second consecutive win.

SLAM DUNKS

Waiters denies fight: Cavaliers starting guard Dion Waiters returned to practice after missing two games with “flu-like symptoms” and denied he had been in a physical confrontation during a players-only meeting last week. Reports of an altercation surfaced over the weekend after point guard Kyrie Irving had a black eye and broken nose.

Fast breaks: Warriors center Jermaine O’Neal has a bruised right knee and a strained right groin and is considered day-to-day. ... Nets starters Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce were back in the starting lineup for the game against the Trail Blazers. ... Bobcats center Al Jefferson was ruled out for Monday’s game due to a bone bruise in his right ankle. ... The Knicks sent Chris Smith to the NBA Development League.

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