Four points are the difference between the Oklahoma City Thunder leading their first round series against the visiting Dallas Mavericks or trailing in the match-up by the same margin with the series heading to Dallas for game three. Saturday Kevin Durant knocked down a mid-range shot with 1.5 seconds on the clock to give the Thunder a 99-98 victory in game one.
Monday night Jason Terry had two tries in the closing seconds to knot up the score and send the game to overtime, but the Mavericks sixth man missed both of his three-point attempts and Oklahoma City hung on for the win by a final score of 102-99. Durant and James Harden would win the contest at the charity stripe; they were trailing 97-96 with 50 seconds left in the game, when Durant hit two shots at the line and Harden hit all four of his attempts.
Russell Westbrook once again was the leading scorer for the Thunder as he knocked down 29 points in the contest while Durant notched a double-double with 26 points for the night. Dirk Nowitzki was the game’s leading scorer with 31 points in the contest; although four other Dallas players scored in double figures; Shawn Marion led the group with 15 points in the loss.
The Mavericks dominated the inside game throughout the evening; outscoring their hosts by a 40-18 margin; even with Oklahoma City center Kendrick Perkins scoring 13 points in the win. If Dallas can get more offensive production from starter Brendan Haywood and backup center Ian Mahinmi, they have a valid chance of getting right back in this series.
Oklahoma City opened up the game on a scoring jag which was a big reason they were able to hold on for the win. Veteran guard Derek Fisher drained an outside jumper at the buzzer and the Thunder led 32-24 at the end of the period. The home team led by 10 points with 31 seconds left in the second when Terry buried a 22 foot trey and the Thunder lead was down to 57-50 as the game reached the half.
Dallas came back strong in the third taking the lead and holding it for a good part of the period. Westbrook would connect on a mid-range jumper with 1:04 in the quarter and Oklahoma City held the lead at the conclusion 79-77 at the end of the period. The two opponents exchanged the advantage throughout the fourth, until the Thunder took over the game in the final seconds.
Game three of the series with Oklahoma City holding a 2-0 advantage will be in Dallas on Thursday.