Dirk Nowitzki, delivers in overtime as Mavericks silence Thunder

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DirkNowitzki’s (right) heroics overshadowed the 36th consecutive game of 25 or more points by league top gun Durant, the longest streak since Michael Jordan’s 40-game run during the 1986-87 season.

Dirk Nowitzki gave the desperate Dallas Mavericks a big lift in their playoff push on Tuesday.

The German star dropped in seven of his 32 points in overtime, and the Mavericks withstood a 43-point outburst by Kevin Durant for a thrilling 128-119 victory over the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder.

Nowitzki added 10 rebounds, six assists and five steals in a bounce back game following Sunday’s miserable 10-point, 2-of-12 shooting effort in an overtime loss to the Brooklyn Nets.

“He played great, he played great,” Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said of the former league MVP. “He carried us. His emotion and his attitude carried the team.”

Spaniard Jose Calderon hit six triples en route to 22 points, Monta Ellis had 17 for the Mavericks (43-29), who moved a half game ahead of idle Phoenix for the eighth and final spot in the Western Conference post-season chase with 10 remaining.

Russell Westbrook scored 23 points while Derek Fisher added 13 off the bench for Oklahoma City (52-19), which dropped 2.5 games behind idle San Antonio for the top spot in the West after having its four-game winning streak stopped.

Dallas dealt Oklahoma City its worst loss of the season, 109-86 on March 16. But the Thunder offered up a stiffer challenge and the teams headed into overtime knotted at 111 following Calderon’s 3-pointer with 26.8 seconds left in regulation and after Nowitzki’s missed game-winner at the buzzer.

The Mavs opened the extra session on a 9-2 run and never looked back.

Nowitzki had two free throws and Calderon buried a triple for a quick 116-111 advantage with 3 minutes 29 seconds left.

After a basket by Serge Ibaka pulled the Thunder within three, Nowitzki and Shawn Marion answered with jumpers to make it 120-113.

Durant’s layup brought Oklahoma City within five but Nowitzki nailed a wide-open 3-point dagger with 57.2 seconds left for a 123-115 cushion and the Mavs improved to 1-3 in overtime contests.

Other results

Elsewhere, Xavier Henry scored 22 points, Nick Young hit five triples en route to 20, and the LA Lakers exploded for a franchise-record 51 third-quarter points to blast the visiting New York Knicks 127-96.

Dion Waiters scored 24 points, Luol Deng had 19, and the Cleveland Cavaliers recovered to hold off the visiting Toronto Raptors 102-100 after blowing a 21-point cushion.

Tobias Harris had 25 points with 11 rebounds, Nik Vucevic added 22 points and 10 boards, and the Orlando Magic snapped a nine-game losing streak after beating the visiting Portland Trail Blazers 95-85.

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