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Meeks powers Lakers past OKC, 114-110

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LOS ANGELES (AP) - Jodie Meeks scored 24 of his career-high 42 points in the second half, and the Los Angeles Lakers beat Oklahoma City 114-110 on Sunday despite a triple-double by Thunder star Kevin Durant.

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Pau Gasol added 20 points and 11 rebounds for the injury-ravaged Lakers, who had lost 29 of their previous 37 games. Meeks was 11 of 18 from the field and 14 for 14 at the line while becoming the third player to reach the 30-point mark this season for Los Angeles.

Meeks is averaging 19.2 points in 11 games since returning from a sprained right ankle. Before the injury, he was averaging 14.4.

Durant had 27 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists for his third triple-double this season. Serge Ibaka had 21 points and 15 boards for Oklahoma City.

The Thunder (46-17) began the day in a three-way tie with San Antonio and Indiana for the NBA's best record. The Pacers played at Dallas on Sunday night and the Spurs were idle.

After giving up an average of 136 points over their previous three games while losing to New Orleans, the Clippers and Denver, the Lakers trailed the Thunder by as many as 18 in the second quarter before taking their first lead on a pair of free throws by Meeks that made it 71-70 with 4:35 left in the third.

The Thunder are 3-5 since beating the Lakers 107-103 at Staples Center on Feb. 13 behind 43 points by Durant, who is vying for his fourth scoring title in five seasons.

The Lakers took a 12-point lead into the fourth quarter and increased it to 95-77 on Jordan Farmar's 3-pointer with 9:42 remaining. Durant then fueled a 20-7 run with 10 points and former Laker Derek Fisher capper the rally with back-to-back 3s 24 seconds apart, pulling the Thunder to 102-97 with 4:36 to play.

Russell Westbrook, who had 20 points, seven rebounds and eight assists for the Thunder, narrowed the gap to 110-107 on a driving dunk with 57.3 seconds on the clock. But he missed everything on another 3-point try 24 seconds later and newly acquired Kent Bazemore helped put it away with a driving layup - two of his seven points in the final 2:02.

Ibaka paced Oklahoma City to a 56-51 halftime advantage with 14 points, while the Thunder held the Lakers to 37.8-percent shooting and outrebounded them 37-18.

Durant's four-point play with 9.4 seconds left in the first quarter gave the defending Northwest Division leaders a 35-26 lead, which they increased to 44-26 on Reggie Jackson's layup with 9:41 left in the half. The Lakers sliced the deficit to 51-49 with a 21-5 run fueled by 10 points from Meeks and capped by Gasol's layup 1:25 before intermission.

NOTES: Nick Young had 31 points for Los Angeles in an overtime loss at Chicago on Jan. 20, and Farmar scored a career-high 30 on Feb. 28 in a home win against Sacramento. ... Durant has scored 25 or more points in 28 consecutive games - one shy of his career-best streak, which occurred in 2009-10. No other NBA player has had a longer streak of 25-point games in the last 25 years. ... Fisher, second on the Lakers' career list for 3-pointers behind Kobe Bryant, shot 51.3 percent (39 for 76) from behind the arc in his previous 22 games before going 2 for 4 Sunday. ... This was the first game of the Lakers' home-and-home set against Oklahoma City, which will be followed by a home-and-home set against the Spurs. ... Lakers point guard Kendall Marshall played 27 scoreless minutes - the fifth time in eight games that he has failed to score. ... The Lakers have trailed after three quarters in 47 of their 64 games.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2015
The Associated Press
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