DEN
OKC

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Westbrook's season-high 38 lead Thunder past Nuggets, 95-94

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Russell Westbrook's co-stars stepped back, and the reigning MVP stepped forward to deliver a winning performance.

Westbrook scored 16 of his season-high 38 points in the fourth quarter, including the tiebreaking free throw with 2.3 seconds left, to lift the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 95-94 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Monday night.

Oklahoma City survived, despite just eight points from Paul George and four from Carmelo Anthony. Westbrook carried the load by making 16 of 28 shots.

''For anybody, if any one of us has the hot hand, you've got to keep going,'' George said. ''Russ definitely had the hot hand. We were fine with him taking the game over. He had the hot hand and was confident with shots and he was getting great looks. You can't really be mad about that, the looks that he got. He got wide-open looks and layups. We're living on his back tonight.''

Westbrook drove hard to the basket in the closing seconds and was fouled on a shot close to the hoop. He made the first of two free throws to put the Thunder ahead. He missed the second, and the Nuggets called timeout with 1.7 seconds left. Denver's Gary Harris missed short on an off-balance 3-pointer as time expired.

Westbrook also had nine rebounds and six assists for the Thunder, who have won seven of 10 to even their record at 15-15.

''He was playing,'' Anthony said. ''He was being aggressive, playing downhill. His shot was falling tonight. He led us tonight. He led us to this victory, especially offensively. He put the team on his back tonight offensively and defensively, we came together as a unit and won the game.''

Harris scored 17 points, Trey Lyles had 15 and Torrey Craig added a career-high 14 for the Nuggets, who led by 10 points early in the fourth quarter.

''We didn't need to wait for the last shot to win the game,'' Denver center Nikola Jokic said. ''I think could have won with like three minutes to go, because we had the lead. We just needed to push a little bit ... it's no one's fault, but I just think we had an opportunity to finish the game earlier.''

Oklahoma City led 52-44 at the break. The Thunder, who often have struggled in the third quarter, did so again at the start of this one. Denver rallied to tie the game at 54 in the opening minutes. The Nuggets took the lead on a layup by Wilson Chandler and followed with a 3-pointer by Craig that rattled in.

The Thunder rallied with an 8-0 run that included two 3-pointers by Alex Abrines, but Denver bounced back to take a 76-70 lead into the fourth.

Westbrook re-entered the game in the fourth quarter after a rest and went to work. His layup tied the game at 94 with just under two minutes remaining to set up the finish.

''I was proud of the fact that we came out third quarter and played phenomenal,'' Denver coach Michael Malone said. ''And then they turned up in that fourth quarter. Westbrook took over the game. Came up a little bit short against a tough division opponent.''

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TIP-INS

Nuggets: Did not score for the first 2:58. ... G Emmanuel Mudiay sat out with a sprained right ankle. ... Denver is 11-2 at home and 5-12 on the road. ... Starters scored just 25 points in the first half. ... Craig, a two-way player, got his second straight start.

Thunder: C Steven Adams missed his second straight game while waiting through concussion protocol. ... Shot 65 percent in the first quarter to take a 32-18 lead. ... Made 10 of 15 free throws.

STAT LINES

Thunder C Dakari Johnson, who got his fifth start of the season in Adams' place, scored eight points on 4-of-4 shooting.

CLOSE CALLS

Oklahoma City struggled to win close games at the start of the season, but its past seven wins have all been by six or fewer points, and by a combined total of 22 points.

UP NEXT

Nuggets: Host the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday.

Thunder: Host the Utah Jazz on Wednesday.

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Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter: www.twitter.com/CliffBruntAP .

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Key Players
N. Jokic
15 C
R. Westbrook
0 PG
36.5 Min. Per Game 36.5
22.8 Pts. Per Game 22.8
9.9 Ast. Per Game 9.9
9.6 Reb. Per Game 9.6
51.0 Field Goal % 39.6
50.4 Three Point % 38.7
85.7 Free Throw % 70.0
  Team rebound 0:00
  Gary Harris missed 3-pt. jump shot 0:00
  Defensive rebound by Wilson Chandler 0:01
  Russell Westbrook missed 2nd of 2 free throws 0:02
+ 1 Russell Westbrook made 1st of 2 free throws 0:02
  Shooting foul on Torrey Craig 0:02
  Personal foul on Trey Lyles 0:14
  Defensive rebound by Carmelo Anthony 0:28
  Jamal Murray missed 3-pt. jump shot 0:31
  Defensive rebound by Wilson Chandler 0:48
  Russell Westbrook missed 3-pt. jump shot 0:50
Team Stats
Points 94 95
Field Goals 37-86 (43.0%) 39-81 (48.1%)
3-Pointers 12-37 (32.4%) 7-24 (29.2%)
Free Throws 8-12 (66.7%) 10-15 (66.7%)
Total Rebounds 54 46
Offensive 8 6
Defensive 37 34
Team 9 6
Assists 21 13
Steals 8 9
Blocks 3 5
Turnovers 11 10
Fouls 18 13
Technicals 0 0
17 PTS, 3 REB, 6 AST
38 PTS, 9 REB, 6 AST
1234T
away team logo Nuggets 16-14 1826321894
home team logo Thunder 15-15 3220182595
Team Stats
away team logo Nuggets 16-14 110.0 PPG 47.1 RPG 26.9 APG
home team logo Thunder 15-15 111.4 PPG 48.1 RPG 22.7 APG
Key Players
G. Harris SG 16.6 PPG 3.2 RPG 2.9 APG 43.8 FG%
R. Westbrook PG 20.7 PPG 10.7 RPG 10.0 APG 43.3 FG%
Top Scorers
G. Harris SG 17 PTS 3 REB 6 AST
R. Westbrook PG 38 PTS 9 REB 6 AST
43.0 FG% 48.1
32.4 3PT FG% 29.2
66.7 FT% 66.7
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
G. Harris 40 17 3 6 1 0 4 0 7/17 2/7 1/2 0 3 29 -5
T. Craig 29 14 2 1 1 1 1 3 5/5 3/3 1/2 0 2 19 -3
J. Murray 25 10 2 1 0 0 0 1 4/11 2/6 0/0 2 0 14 -9
W. Chandler 35 9 10 1 3 0 1 3 4/10 1/4 0/1 0 10 23 -7
M. Plumlee 22 7 9 2 0 2 3 3 3/7 0/0 1/1 1 8 19 -4
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
G. Harris 40 17 3 6 1 0 4 0 7/17 2/7 1/2 0 3 29 -5
T. Craig 29 14 2 1 1 1 1 3 5/5 3/3 1/2 0 2 19 -3
J. Murray 25 10 2 1 0 0 0 1 4/11 2/6 0/0 2 0 14 -9
W. Chandler 35 9 10 1 3 0 1 3 4/10 1/4 0/1 0 10 23 -7
M. Plumlee 22 7 9 2 0 2 3 3 3/7 0/0 1/1 1 8 19 -4
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
T. Lyles 25 15 9 1 0 0 0 3 6/10 3/6 0/0 3 6 26 +6
N. Jokic 25 13 9 2 2 0 1 2 5/9 0/2 3/4 2 7 27 +3
W. Barton 25 6 1 7 0 0 1 1 2/15 0/8 2/2 0 1 20 +7
M. Beasley 9 3 0 0 1 0 0 2 1/2 1/1 0/0 0 0 4 +7
P. Millsap - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
K. Faried - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Arthur - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
E. Mudiay - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Lydon - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Hernangomez - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
R. Jefferson - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Morris - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 235 94 45 21 8 3 11 18 37/86 12/37 8/12 8 37 181 -5
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
R. Westbrook 36 38 9 6 3 1 3 2 16/28 1/3 5/7 2 7 60 +13
P. George 38 8 6 1 3 2 3 0 3/13 1/6 1/2 0 6 18 +4
A. Roberson 24 8 4 2 1 0 0 1 4/6 0/0 0/0 1 3 17 +3
D. Johnson 18 8 3 0 1 1 1 2 4/4 0/0 0/0 1 2 12 -4
C. Anthony 30 4 6 2 0 0 2 1 2/6 0/3 0/0 0 6 12 +11
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
R. Westbrook 36 38 9 6 3 1 3 2 16/28 1/3 5/7 2 7 60 +13
P. George 38 8 6 1 3 2 3 0 3/13 1/6 1/2 0 6 18 +4
A. Roberson 24 8 4 2 1 0 0 1 4/6 0/0 0/0 1 3 17 +3
D. Johnson 18 8 3 0 1 1 1 2 4/4 0/0 0/0 1 2 12 -4
C. Anthony 30 4 6 2 0 0 2 1 2/6 0/3 0/0 0 6 12 +11
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
A. Abrines 13 11 5 0 1 0 0 1 3/3 3/3 2/2 0 5 17 +2
J. Grant 24 8 3 1 0 0 0 3 3/6 0/1 2/4 1 2 13 +2
R. Felton 16 5 2 1 0 0 1 0 2/7 1/2 0/0 0 2 8 -6
J. Huestis 13 3 1 0 0 1 0 2 1/4 1/3 0/0 1 0 5 -13
P. Patterson 21 2 1 0 0 0 0 1 1/4 0/3 0/0 0 1 3 -7
K. Singler - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
S. Adams - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
P. Dozier - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Hamilton - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Ferguson - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
N. Collison - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 233 95 40 13 9 5 10 13 39/81 7/24 10/15 6 34 165 +5