Thunder takes 2-0 lead over champs

nba: Westbrook’s 29 helps Oklahoma City hold serve at home

May 1, 2012 

Russell Westbrook scored 29 points, Kevin Durant added 26 in an off-shooting performance and the Oklahoma City Thunder clawed out a 102-99 victory over defending champion Dallas on Monday night to take a 2-0 lead in the first-round playoff series.

Durant hit two free throws with 50.4 seconds to play to give Oklahoma City a 98-97 lead, and James Harden hit four more foul shots to close it out for the Thunder.

Jason Terry missed two 3-point attempts from the left wing in the final 5 seconds that could have tied it.

Dirk Nowitzki led Dallas with 31 points and Shawn Marion scored 15. The Mavericks led in the closing minutes of both road games.

Game 3 is Thursday night in Dallas.

Durant put the Thunder ahead to stay after salvaging two key points with Oklahoma City inbounding the ball with only 2.6 seconds left on the shot clock. He grabbed the inbounds pass from Harden while headed toward the sideline, and Terry was called for a foul for bumping him.

Durant hit both foul shots, and Nowitzki missed his chance to answer with a short jumper from the left side at the other end.

Marion fouled Harden on the rebound, and the league’s top scoring reserve – only eight days removed from a concussion as the result of Metta World Peace’s elbow to the head – also converted both free throws. He hit two more with 15.6 seconds to go after Terry got the Mavs within one with a driving layup.

After losing both of their home games to Dallas in last year’s Western Conference finals, the Thunder barely got by in the rematch. Durant hit a jumper with 1.5 seconds remaining for a 99-98 win in the first game on Saturday.

The tension escalated quickly after Serge Ibaka tried to block Nowitzki’s jumper midway through the first quarter and smacked him in the left eye on his follow-through, without getting called for a foul.

At Heat 104, Knicks 94: Dwyane Wade scored 25 points, Chris Bosh added 21 and Miami beat New York, sending the Knicks to an NBA-record-tying 12th straight postseason loss.

Making matters worse for the Knicks: Center Amare Stoudemire cut his left hand in a postgame incident. The Knicks did not say exactly what happened, though a fire-extinguisher case near the locker room was damaged and drops of blood stained the carpet.

At least one of Stoudemire’s teammates says the cut is bad enough to keep him out of at least Game 3 of the series in New York on Thursday night.

LeBron James finished with 19 points, nine assists and seven rebounds for the Heat, which leads the Eastern Conference first-round series 2-0. Carmelo Anthony scored 30 points on 12-for-26 shooting for New York.

At Pacers 93, Magic 78: David West had 18 points and 11 rebounds to help Indiana even the Eastern Conference first-round series at one game apiece.

Danny Granger and George Hill each added 18 points and Paul George had 17 points and eight rebounds for Indiana.

Glen Davis led the Magic with 18 points and 10 rebounds, but he shot 5-for-16 from the field. J.J. Redick scored 13 points and Jameer Nelson 12 for Orlando.

The Pacers were heavy favorites in the series because Dwight Howard, Orlando’s All-Star center, is out with a back injury.


Boston at Atlanta, 4:30 p.m. NBATV (Hawks lead series, 1-0)

Philadelphia at Chicago, 5 p.m. TNT (Bulls lead series, 1-0)

Denver at L.A. Lakers, 7:30 p.m. TNT (Lakers lead series, 1-0)

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