OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Kevin Durant scored 30 points and hit a 3-pointer at the final buzzer to lift the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 104-102 victory against the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday night in a rematch of last season’s Western Conference finals.
The Thunder let Dallas wipe away a five-point deficit in the final 46 seconds to go ahead on Vince Carter’s 3-pointer with 1.4 seconds remaining. That was just enough time for Oklahoma City to get the ball to Durant, who drilled a 3 from the right wing that improved his team to 4-0.
Dirk Nowitzki had 29 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Mavericks, whose title defense is off to an 0-3 start.
Russell Westbrook had 16 points and seven turnovers in another subpar performance, but he made up for it with a few critical plays down the stretch.
After Westbrook’s jumper from the right elbow put Oklahoma City up 101-96 with 46 seconds left, Jason Terry hit a 3-pointer to get Dallas within two. Durant missed a 3-pointer at the other end and Serge Ibaka missed both of his free throws after getting fouled on an offensive rebound.
Nowitzki pitched it back to Carter for the go-ahead 3, but the Mavericks couldn’t make it stand up in a rematch of the West finals that they won in five games.
Ibaka finished with 16 points, eight rebounds and three blocks for Oklahoma City.
Terry had 16 points and nine assists, and Delonte West scored 15 for the Mavericks, who were just moments from the latest in a line of impressive comebacks against the Thunder.
Dallas rallied from 15 points down in the final 5 minutes of regulation in Game 4 of the West finals — the teams’ last meeting that counted in the arena.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)