The Oklahoma City Thunder dodged bullets down the stretch on their way to a 102-99 Game 2 win over the Dallas Mavericks to take a 2-0 first round series lead.
Dirk Nowitzki missed a wide-open 3-pointer with the Mavericks leading 97-96 with 1:13 left in the game.
The Thunder then got bailed out on their next possession at the end of the shot clock with Jason Terry committing a bad foul on Kevin Durant. Durant made both free throws to put the Thunder ahead 98-97.
Dirk would get another good look on the next possession down on the left block with Serge Ibaka switching on to him. Dirk went to his patented stepback one-footed jumper and did not get the friendly roll, not the roll that Durant got in Game 1.
James Harden would make all four of his free throw attempts in the final 25 seconds to close the door on the Mavericks. Harden finished the game with 15 points, was 2-for-7 from the floor but 10-of-10 at the line.
Durant had another tough shooting night going 5-for-17 but still scored 26 points thanks to 14-for-16 at the line and pulled down 10 rebounds. He also had seven turnovers in the game.
Russell Westbrook carried the load again for the most part with his midrange game clicking again. He scored 29 points and had just two assists.
The Thunder had just 13 assists as a team but went 37-for-39 from the free throw line.
The Mavericks were hitting from three in Game 1 but tonight made just 5-of-23 attempts. Dirk led the team with 31 points and made all 11 of his free throw attempts.
The Thunder went small again a lot in the second half and fourth quarter with Derek Fisher on the floor instead of Ibaka. Fisher scored11 points in the game including a big 3-pointer to put the Thunder ahead 92-88 with 5:26 left in the game.
Dallas wasn’t able to exploit the Thunder going small as much because they went small too with Dirk at the five and a lineup with Vince Carter, Jason Kidd, Jason Terry and Delonte West.
The Thunder certainly have passed the test in these first two home games, grinding out close victories in both. They started defeat straight in the eyes twice and rose to the occasion each time. This is something that didn’t happen last year for them.
The series is not over though. Dallas is ready to go back home and defend their homecourt and wait to come back and steal one in Oklahoma City.
Game 3 will be played on Thursday night and the game will again be on TNT.