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NBA: Oklahoma City 109, Phoenix 97

April 19, 2012 at 1:01 AM

PHOENIX, April 19 (UPI) -- James Harden came off the bench to score 40 points Wednesday in boosting the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 109-97 triumph over Phoenix.

The Thunder fought off the Suns after holding only a five-point lead heading into the fourth quarter. Oklahoma City stayed within a half game of San Antonio for the best record in the Western Conference.

Losses by both Phoenix and Houston Wednesday dropped those two teams behind Utah in the race for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Utah finished the night in eighth place, a half game in front of the Suns and Rockets.

Harden made 12-of-17 shots from the field and hit all 11 of his free throw tries. Kevin Durant added 29 points and 11 rebounds while Russell Westbrook had 15.

Jared Dudley led Phoenix with 21 points.

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