After a disaster third quarter for the Thunder, Oklahoma City was dominant in the closing 12 minutes to top Dallas 103-97 to come away with a series sweep over the defending champions, advancing to the second round of NBA playoffs.
After coming out of the locker room tied, Dallas went on a tear in the third quarter, outscoring Oklahoma City 34-21 in the quarter to take an 81-68 lead into the closing minutes of the game.
Daequan Cook sparked the scoring in the fourth quarter, knocking down a three-pointer on the opening possession, coupled with a Serge Ibaka dunk to cut the lead to eight points. However, Dallas responded with a quick five of its own to push the lead to 86-73.
However, that's when Oklahoma City blazed back into the game, sparked by the offense of James Harden.
The third-year guard was fouled on a jumper, completing the three-point play, followed with another 10-foot jumper and a layup to cut the lead to just six points. Kevin Durant chimed in with a three-pointer of his own, with Harden on the assist, and the Thunder's sixth-man hit another jumper to cap off the run, closing the deficit to 86-85.
A quick 5-3 run gave the Mavericks another three-point lead, but Oklahoma City continued to pour it on, scoring eight straight to take a 96-91 lead with just three minutes left to play.
From that point on, Oklahoma City matched the Mavericks possession-for-possession, closing out the win with a pair of jumpers from Harden and two free throws from fan-favorite Nick Collison.
Harden set the pace for the Thunder, continuing to prove why he's one of the best bench players in the league, scoring 29 points on an 11-of-16 shooting performance, while grabbing five rebounds and dishing out five assists in the process. Durant turned in a double-double on the night, scoring 24 points and grabbing 11 rebounds, while Westbrook finished with 12 points, six assists and five rebounds.
Dirk Nowitzki set the pace for the Mavericks, finishing with a game-high 34 points and five boards, with Jason Kidd contributing 16 points, 12 of which coming from behind-the-arc.
Oklahoma City will get a significant amount of time off with the sweep, as they will face the winner of the Los Angeles Lakers and the Denver Nuggets. The series will go for at least two more games, with the Lakers leading Denver 2-1 heading into Sunday.