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February 5, 2013

Thunder blows out Mavs at home

OKLAHOMA CITY — After two desperation shots and two overtime thrillers, the Oklahoma City Thunder were done playing close games against the Dallas Mavericks.

Russell Westbrook scored 24 points, Kevin Durant had 19 points and 10 rebounds, and Thunder blew out Dallas 112-91 Monday night while avoiding a third straight overtime game between the teams.

"The last time they came in here, they hit us in the mouth early," Durant said. "And I just told the guys that we've got to be the first hitter tonight and we've got to come out with a lot of energy, and I think we did that."

The Mavericks had tied the first two meetings this season with 3-pointers at the very end, but there was no such drama the third time around.

Oklahoma City led by at least 20 throughout the second half, winning for the 10th time in 11 meetings between the teams since Dallas beat the Thunder in the 2011 Western Conference finals on its way to the NBA championship. That includes a four-game sweep of the Mavs in the first round of last year's playoffs.

Shawn Marion was the lone bright spot for Dallas, hitting 10 of 14 shots and scoring 23 points. Dirk Nowitzki had 10 points on 3-for-11 shooting after missing the previous two games with a right adductor strain.

The Mavericks finished a four-game road trip 1-3, and now head home for their next five games — their second-longest stretch at the American Airlines Center.

"We don't have any excuses. At this point, that would be lame to blame it on that," said coach Rick Carlisle, who was denied in his first chance to earn his 500th career win. "We got two days of rest. We were in Phoenix for a couple days. Supposedly that air makes you feel better."

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