- No mas: Principal bans Spanish language in intercom announcement
- Hacking software could put ‘zombie drone army’ in user’s hands
- Support for stricter gun laws drops: poll
- 10 whales dead, 41 others stranded in Everglades
- John Boehner faces bipartisan pressure to allow gay-rights vote
- Martin Bashir resigns from MSNBC over ‘ill-judged’ comments about Sarah Palin
- Rep. Duncan Hunter: While Obama prays for Iranian change, U.S. should ready its nukes
- Best company ever? Veteran Beer Co. exists to employ vets, provide quality beer
- Iran official: Sanctions ‘utterly failed’ to stop nuclear program
- ‘Black Santa’ display at IU sparks student outrage
NBA Playoffs: Durant, Harden lead Thunder to 106-100 win over Mavericks
Series now knotted up at one game apiece
DALLAS — Kevin Durant scored 24 points and James Harden added 23, leading the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 106-100 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday night, knotting the Western Conference finals at one game each.
The bearded, left-handed guard had a four-point play in the final seconds of the third quarter that put Oklahoma City up by one. Then he and fellow reserves Eric Maynor, Nick Collison and Daequan Cook teamed with Durant to outplay Dallas’ crew of closers in the final period.
The Thunder’s unusual set of finishers outscored the Mavs’ by five. They broke the game open with a 14-5 stretch capped by a tough jumper by Harden near the foul line; it put Oklahoma City up by 10 with 3:15 left. Dallas got as close as four points the rest of the way.
“They’ve been playing hard all year for us and this was another example,” Durant said of his team’s reserves.
Oklahoma City continued its streak of avoiding consecutive losses this postseason. The series shifts to theThunder’s home court — about 200 miles up Interstate 35 — for Game 3 on Saturday night.
Dirk Nowitzki didn’t dominate nearly as much as he did in the opener, scoring 29 points. He had 16 in the fourth quarter, but it wasn’t enough as Dallas was its seven-game winning streak end and dropped to 6-1 at home in the playoffs.
Nowitzki made 10 of 17 shots in Game 2, but had to earn every one, with bodies flying at him before and during every possession. He was swarmed so tightly that he didn’t even score in the third quarter, taking just two shots in nearly 9 minutes. The Thunder also got physical without drawing many fouls. The big German took only 10 free throws, down from 24 in the opener. He even missed one, and it was a biggie — part of a series of three shots with 36.7 seconds left. It could have put the Mavericks within three.
Tyson Chandler had 15 points and 13 rebounds, and Jason Kidd added 14 points and seven assists for Dallas. However, the Mavericks‘ bench wasn’t up to its usual scoring punch. J.J. Barea scored 11 points, and Jason Terry and Peja Stojakovic both had eight.
Oklahoma City’s reserves were so good that Durant scored only four points in the final quarter. Although he didn’t score 40 like the opener, he was still spectacular, with a second-quarter dunk that’s worth going to YouTube to see again and again, and a behind-the-back dribble to clear space for another key basket in the third quarter.
The Thunder shot 56 percent from the field, and again showed how much their youth and athleticism can hurt the older, slower Mavericks. Dallas came into this series not having allowed more than 97 points in any playoff game, and Oklahoma City has shattered that in both games.
The first three quarters were widly entertaining, with each team going through spurts that seemed like they would be capable of breaking things open. The Thunder came out of it leading 77-76 at the start of the final period.
- Apple wins facial recognition patent for iPhone 6
- Inside China: Nuclear submarines capable of widespread attack on U.S.
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Kill team: Obama war chiefs widen drone death zones
- Doctors say profound new HIV treatment may prove the cure
- Xbox One, Playstation 4 games penalize users for cursing in their own homes
- CURL: 'Mission Accomplished' for Obamacare
- U.S. drops 2,000 mice on Guam by parachute to kill snakes
- Allen West warns Obamas backdoor gun control is moving forward
- First Dog Sunny knocks down Ashtyn Gardner; Michelle Obama yanks leash
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
The Constitution: Every issue, every time. No exceptions, no excuses. And how to get from here to there.
A libertarian look at breaking news and political trends by author Tom Mullen.
A stat-head’s outlook, direct from his worn in couch cushion.
Playing Through covers the world of PGA golf, as well as tips your the average golfer to play better.