Thursday's NBA Capsules
Originally published March 2, 2012 at midnight, updated March 2, 2012 at 1 a.m.
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Kevin Durant scored 38 points, including 18 in the fourth quarter, and Russell Westbrook added 29 points and 10 rebounds as the Oklahoma City Thunder erased a 14-point deficit and held on to beat the Orlando Magic 105-102 on Thursday night.
The Magic had a chance to tie it in the final seconds, but Jason Richardson’s long 3-pointer bounced off the backboard at the buzzer.
The Thunder’s win was their seventh straight, matching a streak from earlier in the season.
Dwight Howard scored 33 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead all five Magic starters in double figures, but they struggled to shoot from the field down the stretch.
The Magic dropped to 0-2 against the Thunder this season, following their season-opening loss at Oklahoma City on Christmas night.
SUNS 104, TIMBERWOLVES 95
PHOENIX (AP) — Grant Hill scored 15 of his season-high 20 points in the second half and the Phoenix Suns pulled away to beat the weary Minnesota Timberwolves.
Six players reached double figures for the Suns in their first game since the All-Star break. Steve Nash had 13 points and matched his season high with 17 assists. Marcin Gortat scored 17 for Phoenix in its ninth straight victory over the Timberwolves.
Kevin Love, who sat out the Timberwolves’ 104-85 loss to the Lakers in Los Angeles on Wednesday night because of flulike symptoms, scored 23 on 8-of-25 shooting. Luke Ridnour scored 15 for the Timberwolves, who were playing for the third time in as many nights.
HEAT 107, TRAIL BLAZERS 93
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — LeBron James had 38 points and 11 rebounds and the Miami Heat resumed their season with a rout of the Portland Trail Blazers, extending their winning streak to nine games.
Dwyane Wade added 33 points and 10 assists for the Heat, who at 28-7 are off to their best 35-game start in franchise history.
Miami was playing in its first game since the All-Star break. The Heat hadn’t played since a 102-88 victory at home over the New York Knicks last Thursday.
The Heat were without All-Star Chris Bosh because of a death in his family. He is also expected to miss Friday night’s game at Utah, but it is not yet known whether he will play Sunday when Miami visits the Los Angeles Lakers.
LaMarcus Aldridge had 20 points for the Blazers.
CLIPPERS 108, KINGS 100
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Chris Paul had 22 points and nine assists, Blake Griffin added 14 points and nine rebounds and the Los Angeles Clippers cruised past the Sacramento Kings.
Mo Williams made all four of his 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to finish with 18 points, helping the Clippers build a 19-point lead and begin a stretch of four games in five nights with a victory. Los Angeles plays at Phoenix on Friday night.
DeMarcus Cousins had 23 points and 10 rebounds and Tyreke Evans scored 18 points for the Kings, who had won two straight. Sacramento still had some good news Thursday: The city and team announced a financing plan for a new $391 million arena that would keep the franchise in California’s capital for at least another 30 years.
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