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Durant dominates as Thunder squeak past Bobcats 89-85

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Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder (24-5) took the Bobcats best punch on Friday night and slipped out the back door of Time Warner Cable arena with an 89-85 victory.

The Bobcats who found themselves down 42-36 at the half, watched the Thunder build a 13 point third quarter lead before mounting one of the classic comebacks that they've relied upon over the past four games. Led by Kemba Walker, Charlotte used a 12-0 run to close the gap before heading into the fourth quarter down by two.

Durant put on his cape in the fourth quarter, scoring 14 of his 34 points in the final frame. Using an array of ways to get the ball in the bucket, Durant went on his own 10-4 run hitting back-to-back three's, a slashing drive to the hoop and a step back jump shot that came right out of a video game.

That outburst pushed the Thunder lead to 86-78 with 1:33 remaining."I just wanted to keep the pressure on their defense and put our team in a position to close out the ballgame." Durant said after the game.

Charlotte would respond with a three-pointer from Anthony Tolliver and back-to-back layups from Walker to cut the lead to 86-85 with 14.8 remaining in the ballgame.

The Bobcats found themselves in position to tie the game or take the lead when Thunder guard Reggie Jackson made only one of two free throws with 10 seconds left on the clock. Charlotte would use a timeout after corralling the rebound to move the ball across mid-court.

Down 87-85 the Bobcats would inbound the ball to Walker who used his quickness to get in the paint, draw two defenders and then kick the ball out to a wide open Josh McRoberts who was standing behind the three-point line.

McRoberts would fire from deep but his shot caught the front iron with 3.9 seconds remaining. Thunder forward Thabo Sefolosha grabbed the rebound and knocked down both free throws to end the game.

Durant also led his team in rebounding (12) and assists (6), which the Thunder may need more of as news broke today that guard Russel Westbrook had surgery on his right knee Friday, making him unavailable until after the all-star break in February.

Walker led the Bobcats with 18 points and seven assists, while center Al Jefferson added 16 points and 11 boards for his tenth double-double of the season.

The Bobcats (14-16) will now embark on a five-game road trip beginning in Atlanta on Saturday night when they face the Hawks.

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