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NBA Playoffs: Thunder hold onto home-court advantage thanks to Durant’s last-second jumper

Apr 29, 2012, 12:37 AM EDT

It certainly wasn’t easy, but the Oklahoma City Thunder managed to eke out a 1-0 series lead over the Dallas Mavericks after a back-and-forth final period that ended with Kevin Durant nailing a game-winner with 1.5 seconds left to play.

The Mavericks had plenty of chances to win — Shawn Marion did a great job on Durant all night, holding him to just 10-27 shooting from the floor, and actually played perfect defense on Durant when he hit his game-winner, which took a major “shooter’s bounce” before going in. Jason Terry was red-hot for most of the game, and finished with 20 points in 24 minutes on 8-10 shooting from the floor. Some late turnovers aside, Dirk Nowitzki was on his game, and hit two clutch free throws to put the Mavericks up by one before the game’s final possession.

The Mavericks clearly gave the Thunder all they could handle on Saturday night, and had more than their share of chances to take the game. They led by four points after the third quarter, and had what appeared to be a commanding 7-point lead with just over three minutes remaining, but none of that mattered when the reigning scoring champion rolled home an impossible-looking off-balance jumper to put his team up 1-0. After a great performance, the Mavericks now find themselves in the exact same position as the Knicks do — even though one team lost by 1 point and the other by 33, both teams are down 1-0 with a chance to steal a game on the road before coming back to their buildings.

The question for both teams is how they will carry this game — will the Mavericks be deflated after giving the Thunder their best shot and coming up one play short, or gain confidence from how well they matched up against the Thunder and come out confident in Game 2? Will the Thunder freak out when they realize they have to win 11 more of these games just to get to the NBA Finals, or be able to wipe the slate clean and play like a 47-19 team in Game 2? That’s what we’ll find out later, but for now it looks like this is the best first-round series going.

  1. 69jaredallen69 - Apr 29, 2012 at 1:16 AM

    KD is a BALLER and true MVP of the league…if anyone can find me a clutch LeBron shot late in a game, I will show you 5 from KD just this year

    • rodgersmvp - Apr 29, 2012 at 1:30 AM

      A Jared Allen fan who isn’t rooting for Kevin Love? I call BS!

  2. Justin - Apr 29, 2012 at 2:47 AM

    Kid Clutch

  3. davincizsp - Apr 29, 2012 at 6:49 AM

    Kidd is still reliable,physically and mentally

  4. marlin1894 - Apr 29, 2012 at 7:44 AM

    69jaredallen69

    Sorry pal, but LeBron is the MVP. If the MVP was all about who’s more “clutch”, it would’ve gone to Kobe and Carmelo the last few years. LeBron’s efficiency is through the roof and is also a candidate for defensive player of the year, Durant isn’t a top 20 defender. Durant is awesome, but LeBron is the man this year.

  5. diablito0402 - Apr 29, 2012 at 7:49 AM

    Im sorry but lebron isnt anywhere to be found late in the fourth quarters, there is a reason wade has the ball with 10 secs left in the game, thats no MVP material, efficiency goes out the window here..

  6. bils293 - Apr 29, 2012 at 10:09 AM

    I love how this post is about kd and a great game winning shot but yet all these idiots find the need to still bring lebron up. Supposed hates are OBSESSED with this guy. It’s getting ridiculous.

  7. jumbossportsblog - Apr 29, 2012 at 11:34 AM

    Reblogged this on jumbossportsblog.

  8. trevormcnamara - Apr 29, 2012 at 11:40 AM

    KD yet again clutch… Amazing shot i dont know how that went in… Should get mvp

  9. mat9844 - Apr 29, 2012 at 12:10 PM

    Terrific game; happy to see Harden back on the court as good as ever

  10. kacapaco - Apr 29, 2012 at 12:30 PM

    Man, it was a thriller.

  11. borderline1988 - Apr 29, 2012 at 1:24 PM

    I feel bad for Mavs fans.
    I cannot believe that shot went down. He had 2 hands in his face; it didn’t even look like he saw the basket. He didn’t get a clean shooting motion, he literally blindly chucked the ball at the basket with one hand. It hits the front of the rim, bounces high off the backboard, and in.
    Brutal!
    But hey, you have to be good to get lucky.

  12. lyndseymarieee - Apr 29, 2012 at 1:51 PM

    KD didn’t have the hot shooting hand but he made the one that counted the most. thunder up!

  13. md23rewlz - Apr 29, 2012 at 2:38 PM

    To say that New York and Dallas are in the same position is only technically true in that they both lost. New York didn’t show one iota of competitiveness that entire game, whereas the Dallas game ended up more or less a coin flip. Without a lucky shot from Durant (and that was a lucky shot if I ever saw one), they’re down 0-1 right now. OKC will still probably win the series, but at least Dallas came out punching and showed that they were going to try to MAKE it a series.

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