OKLAHOMA CITY – Steven Adams’ putback was a fraction of a second too slow and the Mavericks able to escape Chesapeake Arena on Monday night with a win.
Dallas defeated Oklahoma City, 85-84, in Game 2 of the first round of the NBA playoffs.
The Mavericks shook off the beatdown taken in the first game of the series to even things up heading to Dallas for Game 3 on Thursday.
Dallas’ offensive effort was better, but the defense made the difference. The Mavs kept Kevin Durant in check throughout the game, more than once double-teaming the the All-Star, and held him to just 7-of-33 shooting for the night.
The Thunder as a whole shot just 33.7 percent.
The game went back and forth all night and the largest lead for either team was just eight points. And OKC had chances at the end.
Tied at 81 apiece with just more than a minute left, Durant had an open look and missed. Trailing 83-81 on the next possession, Durant missed twice and then the Mavs’ Wesley Matthews took the rebound following the second miss and made a layup, putting his team up 85-81, and that would prove to be just enough.
Durant hit a three on the next possession, bringing the score to 85-84 and resurrecting hope for the Thunder. Add to that Raymond Felton missed two free throws with seven seconds left and the Thunder had one more opportunity.
Durant grabbed the rebound and with no timeouts left. dished to Russell Westbrook, who led the team down the court for one final time. He passed back to Durant, who couldn’t get a contested layup to fall. Westbrook’s rebound and shot wouldn’t go.
Adams, on the other side of the rim, grabbed the second rebound and put it back in. But time had expired.
It marked the 15th time this season, Oklahoma City lost a game in which the team had led after three quarter.
“They are not a good team in the fourth quarter,” Dirk Nowitzki said on the Mavericks’ radio broadcast following the game. “They know it. And we know it, too.”
Nowitzki, who was the only Dallas player to score in double figures in the first game of the series, had 17 points, while Raymond Felton led the Mavs with 21 points and 11 rebounds.
Durant had a team-high 21 points with nine rebounds and Westbrook put in 19 points to go wit 14 boards.