POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Dec 28, 2010
OKLAHOMA CITY » The Dallas Mavericks were already without their coach after knee surgery, then lost Dirk Nowitzki to his own knee injury.
And the Mavericks just kept rolling on the road.
Caron Butler scored 21 points and the Mavericks shook off the loss of Nowitzki in the second quarter to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 103-93 last night for their 17th victory in 18 games.
Nowitzki scored 13 points before leaving with 9:10 left in the second with what the Mavericks said was a sore right knee. Shawn Marion scored 20 points off the bench to help replace him.
"You hate to see the big German go down," guard Jason Terry said. "But we saw him at halftime and he was smiling. He told us, 'No problem. You guys got this.' "
Dallas improved to 11-1 on the road this season, best in the NBA, and 24-5 overall.
"Just a great team win," said Mavs assistant Dwane Casey, running the team while Rick Carlisle recovers from his surgery. "Huge team win. The guys pulled together. We had to get into a rhythm offensively. It took us awhile to find it. This should be a huge confidence boost for our guys."
Casey said he didn't believe Nowitzki's injury was serious.
Kevin Durant scored 28 points, one game after a season-high 44 points on Christmas against Denver. James Harden had 18 for the Thunder, who dropped their second in a row to the Mavericks this season.
Thunder coach Scott Brooks said his team's approach did not change after Nowitzki's injury.
"I knew this team was a defensive team. They have the record of 24-5 because they have a talented group of guys that play well," he said. "Dirk is one of the best players, but he isn't the only guy on their team."
Terry was 5-for-8 from the floor in the fourth quarter and scored 11 of his 13 points in the final period. The Mavs held Durant to just five points in the final period.
The Thunder led 84-83 with 9 minutes left, but Dallas scored the next seven points.
"We just picked a bad time to miss shots," Brooks said. "They did a good job of making shots in the fourth quarter."
DeShawn Stevenson had 12 points for the Mavericks. Jason Kidd finished with 10 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds.
D.J. Augustin scored 27 points, Stephen Jackson added 23 and new-look, uptempo Charlotte held on to beat visiting Detroit to give interim coach Paul Silas a victory in his debut.
Zach Randolph scored 15 of his 21 points in the second half and Memphis woke up from a slow start to beat visiting Toronto.
Al Horford had 18 points and 12 rebounds, Joe Johnson added 15 points and Atlanta beat Milwaukee to snap a five-game road losing streak.
Dwight Howard had 19 points and 13 rebounds, and visiting Orlando won its third straight with a victory over New Jersey.
Hedo Turkoglu scored 20 points as the Magic had six players in double figures in beating the Nets for the third time in three meetings this season.
Kevin Martin scored 20 points, Shane Battier and Aaron Brooks each added 15 and Houston won its fifth straight game, beating visiting Washington.
Michael Beasley had 30 points, nine rebounds and a career-high seven assists to lead host Minnesota to a victory over New Orleans.
Chris Paul had 22 points and 13 assists for the Hornets, who lost their seventh straight road game and are 7-12 after starting the season 11-1.
LaMarcus Aldridge scored 26 points, former Utah guard Wesley Matthews had 14, and Portland halted a four-game road losing streak with a victory over Utah.
Eric Gordon tied a career high with six 3-pointers and scored 31 points, leading visiting Los Angeles to a victory over Sacramento.
Blake Griffin had 24 points and 14 rebounds for the Clippers, who have won three straight on the road after opening the season 0-11.
Monta Ellis had 22 points and a season-high 12 assists, David Lee added 21 points and 16 rebounds and host Golden State won its third straight, beating Philadelphia.
Durant 10-21 6-7 28, Green 6-14 0-0 12, Krstic 3-6 0-0 6, Westbrook 5-15 5-6 15, Sefolosha 0-0 0-0 0, Harden 5-9 5-6 18, Ibaka 4-10 1-2 9, Collison 0-0 0-0 0, Maynor 1-6 2-2 5. Totals 34-81 19-23 93.