DALLAS - Dirk Nowitzki was frustrated by his poor shooting performance in Dallas previous game. That disappointment, plus a little help from an old friend, turned into another big performance by the veteran forward. Nowitzki scored seven of his 32 points in overtime, leading the Mavericks to a 128-119 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday night. Nowitzki also had 10 rebounds and six assists. In Dallas loss to Brooklyn on Sunday, he was 2 for 12 from the field in his worst shooting performance of the season. "The last game was disappointing for me," Nowitzki said. "I was just hesitating too much, so I had to go back to having fun out there and just being me. "That was a heck of a game, and it was fun to be a part of." The 7-foot Nowitzki was 11 for 23 from the field and 8 for 8 at the line. "His emotion and his attitude carried the team," Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. "Hes a prideful guy. I think great players are great for a reason. They never let anything keep them down for long. Hes bounced back from every adversity hes ever had in his career, so this is no surprise." Kevin Durant led Oklahoma City with 43 points. He has scored at least 25 in 36 consecutive games in the longest such streak since Michael Jordans 40-game run during the 1986-87 season. Dallas had seven players score in double figures. Jose Calderon went 6 for 8 from 3-point range and finished with 22 points. Nowitzki said he spent time on Tuesday with Holger Geschwinder, his longtime basketball mentor from his home country of Germany. He said they got in a little shooting work. "I guess he was tired of watching my shooting percentage," Nowitzki said. "Its always good when hes there." Russell Westbrook scored 23 for Oklahoma City. All of his points came in regulation, when he played 31:50. He added another minute in overtime. Westbrook is limited to 30 to 32 minutes per game because of his oft-injured right knee. Oklahoma City was coming off a 117-96 victory over Denver on Monday night. The Thunder had won four in a row. "Im proud of our guys effort and energy, coming back from back-to-back games," coach Scott Brooks said. "I cant complain about anything we did tonight." "We didnt 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, 1 1/2 ahead of the ninth-place Suns. Calderon returned to the starting lineup after being knocked out of Sunday nights game in the first minute. He was whacked in the face by Brooklyns Mason Plumlee, chipping a facial bone between his nose and mouth. Calderon said the injury only hurts when he talks or laughs. "And I dont have to laugh during games," he said. Another of Calderons 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 dont know until that ball goes through the rim." Dallas won 109-86 at Oklahoma City on March 16 in the Thunders 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 Citys 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 per cent for the half. NOTES: Thunder centre Kendrick Perkins, sidelined since Feb. 20 with a groin strain, is hoping to return at Houston on April 4. ... If Dallas finishes among the leagues top-10 teams, Oklahoma City will get the Mavericks first-round draft choice next summer as a result of a series of trades. Cheap Adidas Shoes Authentic
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. This has become the Raptors mantra as they embark on a new era with a new regime and, in the not-so-distant future, a new image.TERRIGAL, Australia -- Crystal Palace midfielder Mile Jedinak will lead Australia at the World Cup after getting the nod over Tim Cahill to replace long-term captain Lucas Neill. Australia coach Ange Postecoglou announced the decision Wednesday, five days ahead of the Socceroos last friendly on home soil before the squad leaves for Brazil. The 29-year-old Jedinak was a mainstay for Palace last season, playing every game until he had to be replaced due to a groin strain during the last Premier League match. Jedinak has played 43 times for Australia and was considered a longer-term option than 34-year-old Cahill, the New York Red Bulls star who will be playing at his third World Cup. "It is a privileged position and an accolade he richly deserves after the incredible job he has done at Crystal Palace in the toughest club competition in world football," Postecoglou said. "Mile Jedinak embodies everything that is great about Australian football and Australia as a nation. "He has risen to the top ... and done it the hard way from humble beginnings where he has battled and believed in himself to overcome the odds with an enormous work ethic and passion for what he does. I have no doubt he will lead the team with distinction in Brazil." Postecoglou told the 36-year-old Neill before unveiling the extended 30-man World Cup squad last week that he wasnt in the Socceroos future plans. Jedinak, who played in a defeat to Germany in 2010 in his only previous World Cup match, will bbe only the fourth Australian to lead the Socceroos at footballs marquee tournament, following Peter Wilson (1974), Mark Viduka (2006) and Neill (2010).dddddddddddd Cahill and Mark Bresciano, who is also going to his third World Cup, were appointed as vice-captains. Jedinak led Australia for the first time during a 4-3 loss to Ecuador in a friendly in London in March. "To be handed the responsibility of captaining my country at the World Cup is humbling, yet incredibly exciting," Jedinak said. "It is an honour to be named captain but it is also a huge responsibility and I look forward to providing leadership for the team along with Tim and Mark as we take on some of the biggest nations in world football." Australia plays South Africa in a friendly on Monday before leaving for South America. The Australians were drawn into a difficult Group B with defending champion Spain, 2010 runner-up Netherlands and Chile and are considered long shots to advance to the knockout stages in Brazil. Postecoglou said Jedinaks lead-from-the-front mentality was crucial to the selection. "Hes led a group of players and a team in the English Premier League that many had written off. A lot of those characteristics apply to us right now and I know that when we get to Brazil and face up to the challenges we need to face up to, Mile and Timmy and Mark will be leading from the front," he said. "Ive challenged these guys as well to have their best World Cup ever." ' ' '