Durant's Buzzer Beater Downs Mavs, Keeps OKC Undefeated

Thursday, December 29th 2011, 11:16 pm
By: News 9

Grant Belcher, News9.com

Dallas might have entered the game winless, but Thursday's game still felt like a Western Conference Finals victory for the Thunder.

Kevin Durant's buzzer-beating 3-pointer downed the Mavericks 104-102 on Thursday night at Chesapeake Energy Arena, moving OKC to 4-0 on the season.

Down 101-99 with the clock winding down, Dallas opted for the potential game winning 3-pointer and nailed it, as Vince Carter found the bottom of the net with 1.4 seconds remaining.

Oklahoma City called a timeout to advance the ball. Thabo Sefolosha found Durant coming off several picks, and Durant faded away well beyond the 3-point line and drained the game winner.

Durant lit up the stat sheet for his fourth-straight 30-point game to start the season. He finished with 30 points, 11 rebounds and six assists.

Russell Westbrook improved on his previous performance by scoring 16 points, including several clutch shots down the stretch. He did have seven turnovers for the third time in the first four games.

Dallas wasted no time jumping out to an 11-2 lead, but it didn't even take the Thunder until the end of the quarter to overcome the deficit.

The rest of the game see-sawed with both Dallas and OKC gaining leads of eight points each until whittling it down to a possession-by-possession basis.

Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook combined to score the game's final 13 points for the Thunder.

Though Dallas entered (and exited) the game winless, the game had more of a Western Conference Finals feel stemming off last season's playoff series between the teams.

Both teams were very familiar with each other and many of the same matchups and tensions from last season came back to life.

The game featured six technical fouls (James Harden and Serge Ibaka got one each while Dallas had four total).

OKC shot an unheard-of 59 percent from the floor in the game, but kept the Mavericks in it with 26 turnovers. The Mavs converted those turnovers into a whopping 27 more field goal attempts than the Thunder had in the game.

James Harden chipped in his usual 15 off the bench for Oklahoma City, while Serge Ibaka played his best game of the season with 16 points, eight rebounds, three blocks and some impressive defense on Dirk Nowitzki.

The Thunder will have a night off before hosting Phoenix on New Year's Eve at 7 p.m.