Kevin Durant scored 11 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter, Russell Westbrook had 19 points and the Oklahoma City Thunder held off the Orlando Magic 97-89 on Friday night.
The Magic briefly took a one-point lead in the final period, but the Thunder hit eight of their final 10 free throws to help seal the victory.
The win ends a string of consecutive losses for the Thunder, who played the first of four straight games against teams with losing records. They entered the night trailing West-leading San Antonio by 2½ games.
Maurice Harkless led the Magic with 25 points, followed by Jameer Nelson with 16.
Orlando lost its sixth straight.
They also lost starting shooting guard Arron Afflalo in the second quarter with a right hamstring injury.