Thunder 106, Mavericks 92

Associated Press  |  Last updated December 18, 2011
Kevin Durant scored 21 points and reserve James Harden added 16 to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 106-92 victory over the defending champion Dallas Mavericks on Sunday night in the preseason opener for both teams. Durant, the NBA scoring leader last season at 27.7 points a game, went 13 for 14 from the free throw line. Lamar Odom, acquired from the Los Angeles Lakers in a trade on Dec. 11, had 14 points and seven rebounds in his Mavericks debut. Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd, leaders of the Mavericks title run, were in uniform and are healthy but were rested. Delonte West and Odom started in their place. Dominique Jones and Roddy Beaubois had 17 points each to pace Dallas. The Mavs are working newcomers Odom, Vince Carter and West into their rotation, looking to make up for the losses of key rotation members Tyson Chandler, J.J. Barea and Caron Butler to trades or free agency. Oklahoma City returns its core of young players. The teams complete their two-game home-and-home exhibition set Tuesday night at Oklahoma City. The Thunder took control with an 11-0 second-quarter run that included two 3-pointers from Daequan Cook, expanding a 25-24 lead after one quarter to 58-51 by halftime. Oklahoma City went 7 for 11 from 3-point range in the first half, with Cook hitting 3 of 4 from beyond the arc. Durant's nine points in the third quarter, all on foul shots, pushed the Thunder to a 90-70 advantage entering the fourth. Dallas opened the fourth quarter with a 14-0 run and pulled as close as 93-88 on Ian Mahinmi's dunk with 5:04 remaining. But the Thunder scored the next five points, including a pair of jumpers from Eric Maynor, for a 98-88 edge with 3:21 left, closing out the Mavs. NOTES: Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said his primary goal in a short preseason is getting his veteran team into game shape. ''Our guys would benefit from a longer camp, but that's not in the cards,'' Carlisle said. ... Dallas beat Oklahoma City in five games in last season's Western Conference final. ... The Mavericks open the regular season on Christmas Day, hosting Miami, their opponent in the finals. The Thunder host Orlando on the same day.
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