Mon, May 07, 2012 - Page 19 News List

Thunder rally to finish sweep of Mavs

CAMPAIGN ENDS:The Dallas Mavericks are the second defending champions to be swept in the first round in the past five years after Miami were swept in 2007 by Chicago


The Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kevin Durant goes to the basket against the Dallas Mavericks in the first half of Game 4 of their Western Conference quarter-final series at the American Airlines Center in Dallas on Saturday.

Photo: EPA

James Harden scored 15 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter as Oklahoma City rallied for a 103-97 victory on Saturday to sweep the defending NBA champions Dallas Mavericks out of the playoffs.

The Thunder trailed by 13 points with 9:44 left before Harden scored seven in a row, and nine in a 12-0 run over the next three minutes.

Oklahoma City finally took the lead, and kept it, after Russell Westbrook stole the ball from Dirk Nowitzki and passed to Serge Ibaka for a two-handed slam that made it 92-91 with 5:17 left.

Dallas are the second defending champions in five years to be swept in the first round. After beating the Mavericks in the 2006 NBA Finals, Miami lost in four games to Chicago the following year.

Kevin Durant had 24 points and 11 rebounds for the Thunder, who will get a break before playing the winner of the series between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Denver Nuggets. Nowitzki had 34 points.


In Los Angeles, Chris Paul had 24 points and 11 assists and high-flying Blake Griffin added 17 points for Los Angeles, who beat Memphis only after Rudy Gay missed a jumper just before the buzzer.

The Clippers won their first home playoff game in six seasons to take a 2-1 series lead.

Paul hit a fadeaway jumper with 2:02 left in the fourth quarter for an 82-80 lead. On the next possession, he had a no-look bounce pass to Griffin coming in off the baseline for a monster slam.

Trailing 86-80 after two free throws by Paul, Gay hit a three-pointer with 12.9 seconds left, Memphis’ first field goal since 7:10 of the quarter. After Los Angeles missed three of four free throws, Gay hit another three-pointer with 8.9 seconds.

Gay finished with 24 points.


In Orlando, George Hill hit a pair of free throws with 2.2 seconds left in overtime as Indiana beat Orlando to take a 3-1 lead in their Eastern Conference series.

The Pacers won after squandering a 19-point lead in the fourth quarter. Orlando had a final chance to tie it in the closing seconds, but Glen Davis’ fadeaway jumper bounced off the side of the rim.

David West scored 26 points, including 12 in the third quarter and four in overtime, for Indiana. Danny Granger added 21 points. Jason Richardson led Orlando with 25 points and Davis had 24 points and 11 rebounds.

The Pacers won their third straight game and will try to close out the series tomorrow night at home in Indianapolis.

SPURS 102, JAZZ 90

In Salt Lake City, Tony Parker scored 27 points, including 16 in the fourth quarter as San Antonio beat Utah to take a 3-0 lead in their Western Conference series.

No NBA team have ever overcome a 3-0 deficit to win a best-of-seven series. The Spurs can close it out tonight in Salt Lake City.

Al Jefferson and Devin Harris scored 21 apiece for Utah, while Derrick Favors added 15 points, 11 rebounds and two blocks in his most extensive action of the series.

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