The Thunder entered Monday night on a two-game losing streak, and the Nuggets were threatening to make it three straight in Oklahoma City as the fourth quarter began. But home-court advantage kicked in during the final frame.
Ty Lawson intentionally missed a free throw with just over two seconds remaining, and the Nuggets got the ball back after Nick Collison deflected the rebound out of bounds. But after a scramble for the ball on the ensuing inbounds, J.J. Hickson launched a last-second heave from 25 feet that bounced off the backboard, and Oklahoma City escaped with the two-point win.
Durant led all scorers with 38 points — despite hitting just 11 of his 27 attempts — and Westbrook notched 30 for the Thunder. Lawson had 29 for the Nuggets.
Not much has gone according to plan for the new-look Nets this season, and a scorching hot Trail Blazers team wasn't the answer to their problems. Brooklyn scored 40 points in the first quarter but managed just 58 over the final three periods as Portland outscored the home team by 19 the rest of the way in a 108-98 win.
The Trail Blazers now have nine wins — tied with Indiana and San Antonio for most in the NBA. LaMarcus Aldridge went for 27 points, Wes Matthews had 24, and Damian Lillard had 19 and nine assists for a Portland team that has won seven straight games.
And Dame was doing what he does best.
Brooklyn, who was once again without the services of Deron Williams due to a sprained ankle, got 23 points from Shaun Livingston and a season-high 16 from Kevin Garnett (12 of which came early in the first quarter), but it wasn't enough as the team's struggles continue.
Bulls 86, Bobcats 81
Both teams barely eclipsed 36 percent shooting from the floor, but Chicago rode 21 points from Luol Deng for the win. Deng also did this ...
The Bulls got just 16 points from their bench, but each starter scored in double figures to help keep the winning streak alive. But it was Tom Thibodeau's trademark tough defense that secured the victory for Chicago.
Charlotte got 20 off the bench from Jeff Taylor, but the Bobcats hit just eight of 16 free throws and were outrebounded 54-44 in the loss.
Philadelphia isn't making it easy for anyone these days, but Dallas' resurgence continued on Monday night as the Mavs held on for the 97-94 win over the 76ers.
The 76ers were once again without Michael Carter-Williams, who's dealing with a foot injury, but they got 26 points, nine rebounds and seven assists from Evan Turner, who continues to have the best season of his career. Tony Wroten had 19 points and five steals in MCW's stead, but he missed six free throws, including three in the fourth quarter.
Dallas had 11 blocks in the game and held the Sixers to just 38.4 percent shooting.
The Jazz have the worst record in the NBA, and the Warriors aren't exactly the team you want to see when you're struggling. Golden State outscored Utah 59-36 in the first half, and this one was over by the break.
Stephen Curry had 22 points, eight assists and six rebounds, and Harrison Barnes and Klay Thompson went for 17 apiece to lead the way for Golden State, who improved to 8-3 on the season. The Warriors also outrebounded a big Jazz team by 17 boards and held Utah to 39.5 percent shooting.
Even during a season in which the Clippers are flying high and the Grizzlies are laying low, it seems Memphis still has Los Angeles' number on the court. The grit-n-grind Grizz handed the Clips their first home loss of the season on Monday, 106-102, and have come back after a slow start to the season to win three straight.
Marc Gasol nearly recorded a triple-double with 23 points, nine rebounds and eight assists, and Zach Randolph put up a vintage Z-Bo performance with 26 points and 15 rebounds in the win. Memphis is now 6-5 on the season and starting to gain momentum after what's been a rocky head-coaching transition.
Chris Paul had yet another double-double with 18 points and 11 assists, but his biggest helper looked to come in the first quarter, when he took a flying kick to the face from Grizz shooting guard Tony Allen. Allen was ejected from the game despite the kick appearing to be unintentional, but it didn't matter in the end.