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Nuggets stay alive as Thunder miss late

The Denver Nuggets avoided elimination Monday thanks to Ty Lawson's 13 fourth-quarter points and two missed Russell Westbrook three-pointers in the final 10 seconds.

The Thunder franchise, which was looking for its first four-game sweep of a seven-game series since 1996, got 30 points from Westbrook and 31 from Kevin Durant. It was the second time this series that both players scored at least 30 points in the same game.

While Lawson contributed a playoff career-high 27 points, including 9-for-9 from the free throw line, the Nuggets bench also outscored the Thunder's bench 30-19.

Yet Westbrook's two missed shots late in the game added to a common pattern seen in the 2011 playoffs. In the final 10 seconds of a game, teams tied or trailing by three or fewer points now are 1-for-13 from the floor. That 7.1 field-goal percentage is the worst so far in the last four postseasons. During the 2009 playoffs, teams in the above situation made nearly 35 percent of their shots.

Westbrook ended up shooting 0-for-7 from three-point range, and took 30 shots from the floor. He joined Carmelo Anthony as the only players to take 30 shots in a game this postseason. That's also the most field goal attempts by a Thunder/SuperSonics player in a postseason game in the past 20 seasons.

Westbrook shot just 4-of-15 from 15+ feet Monday, including 0-for-5 in the fourth quarter. During the regular season, he made 35.4 percent of his shots from that range.