Nowitzki scores 32 as Mavs beat Thunder 128-119

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“We didn’t make the big play,” said Durant, who has scored 40 points or more 13 times this season. “They made shots in overtime. You have to give them credit.”

The Mavericks scored the first five points of the extra period on two free throws by Nowitzki and a 3-pointer by Calderon. They never trailed again.

The victory pushed Dallas into eighth place in the Western Conference, a half-game ahead of idle Phoenix. The Mavericks improved to 3-2 on a franchise-long, eight-game homestand, with three of the games going to overtime. They began the homestand in seventh place, 1½ ahead of the ninth-place Suns.

Calderon returned to the starting lineup after being knocked out of Sunday night’s game in the first minute. He was whacked in the face by Brooklyn’s Mason Plumlee, chipping a facial bone between his nose and mouth.

Calderon said the injury only hurts when he talks or laughs. “And I don’t have to laugh during games,” he said.

Another of Calderon’s 3s came with 26.3 seconds left in the fourth quarter and sent the game into overtime.

“It felt good from the beginning,” he said, “but you don’t know until that ball goes through the rim.”

Dallas won 109-86 at Oklahoma City on March 16 in the Thunder’s worst loss of the season. Westbrook missed that game because the team wants to limit the activity for his surgically repaired knee, choosing to rest him in one part of back-to-back games.

Westbrook was the catalyst of Oklahoma City’s second-quarter rally after the Thunder fell behind by 10. He scored 10 points in the period, including a foul shot that gave Oklahoma City a 57-48 lead with 1:25 to go.

But the Mavericks answered with three consecutive 3-pointers - one from Calderon and two from Vince Carter - to tie it with 33.4 left in the half. Durant then hit a 3 to give Oklahoma City a 60-59 lead at the break.

The Thunder hit 14 of 18 shots in the period and shot 57.1 percent for the half.

NOTES: Thunder center Kendrick Perkins, sidelined since Feb. 20 with a groin strain, is hoping to return at Houston on April 4. … If Dallas finishes among the league’s top-10 teams, Oklahoma City will get the Mavericks’ first-round draft choice next summer as a result of a series of trades.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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