Thunder sweep champion Mavs out of NBA playoffs

The NBA champion Dallas Mavericks were swept out of the first round of the playoffs as the Oklahoma City Thunder wrapped up their Western Conference series with a 103-97 victory.

James Harden on Saturday scored 15 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter as the Thunder won their fourth straight in the best-of-seven series to make the Mavericks the first defending champions to be swept in the first round since the Miami Heat in 2007.

Kevin Durant added 24 points and 11 rebounds and Russell Westbrook finished with 12 points, six assists and five rebounds for the second-seeded Thunder.

They became the first team to reach the second round, where they will face either the Los Angeles Lakers or Denver Nuggets.

Dirk Nowitzki, the Most Valuable Player of last season's NBA finals triumph over Miami, led the Mavericks with 34 points and Jason Kidd added 16 with eight assists and seven rebounds.

Elsewhere in the West, the Los Angeles Clippers rallied for a dramatic 87-86 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies.

In Salt Lake City, Tony Parker scored 27 points to lead the San Antonio Spurs over the Utah Jazz 102-90. The victory put the top-seeded Spurs on the brink of advancing as they took a 3-0 lead in the series.

Tim Duncan scored 17 points and Danny Green 14 for the Spurs, who will try to complete the sweep on Monday in Salt Lake City.

In Dallas, Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said the Thunder were just too good for the defending champions.

"They're a great young team," Carlisle said of the Thunder. "And the thing that impressed me most about them is that they have a certain look in their eye right now, not just that they belong, but that this could be their time."

After reaching half-time tied at 47-47, Dallas came out strong in the third quarter.

Nowitzki scored 10 points in a 17-7 scoring run to open the third as Dallas seized a double-digit lead.

Oklahoma City trimmed the deficit to 67-61 on Derek Fisher's three-pointer with just over four minutes to play in the third. Dallas responded with a 14-7 scoring run and took an 81-68 lead into the fourth quarter.

Even that, however, wasn't enough against a young, hungry Oklahoma City team that was ousted from the playoffs by the Mavericks last year.

Dallas were leading 86-73 early in the fourth when Harden scored seven straight points to launch a 25-7 scoring run that saw the Thunder surge into a 98-93 lead with 2:30 to play.

Oklahoma City were up 100-97 in the final minute when Harden took an inbounds pass, drove to the net and rolled in a layup off his finger. A Durant free throw completed the scoring.

"They came at us like a buzz saw in the fourth quarter," Carlisle said. "They made plays. We couldn't stop them. They were able to stop us enough. We walk away from this very disappointed but knowing the better team won."

In Los Angeles, Chris Paul scored 24 points and handed out 11 assists for the Clippers, who took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series, with game four on Monday in Los Angeles.

Blake Griffin added 17 points and Randy Foye's 16 points included four three pointers, one of which knotted the score in the waning minutes.

Rudy Gay finished with 24 points for Memphis, but missed a potential game-winning jump shot at the buzzer.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • National Geographic 'Afghan girl' in Pakistan papers probe
    National Geographic 'Afghan girl' in Pakistan papers probe

    Pakistani officials are investigating after the famous green-eyed "Afghan girl" immortalised in a 1985 National Geographic magazine cover was found living in the country on fraudulent identity papers. The haunting image of the then 12-year-old Sharbat Gula, taken in a refugee camp by photographer Steve McCurry, became the most famous cover image in the magazine's history. Now Pakistani officials say that Gula applied for a Pakistani identity card in the northwestern city of Peshawar in April …

  • NYC, Orthodox Jews reach deal on circumcision suction ritual
    NYC, Orthodox Jews reach deal on circumcision suction ritual

    NEW YORK (AP) — The city said Tuesday it has reached a tentative agreement with members of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community over a tradition known as oral suction circumcision. …

  • ‘Noy angered by previous SAF failures to get Marwan’
    ‘Noy angered by previous SAF failures to get Marwan’

    Supt. Raymund Train, who led the SAF team that killed Marwan in Mamasapano, Maguindanao on Jan. 25, recounted in a sworn statement the meeting he and senior SAF officers had with Aquino in Malacañang on Nov. 30. Train said among the senior officers who attended the meeting were then PNP chief Director General Alan Purisima, SAF chief Director Getulio Napeñas, SAF deputy commander Chief Supt. Noli Taliño and intelligence group chief Senior Supt. Fernando Mendez. …

  • Duterte: Disband all armed groups
    Duterte: Disband all armed groups

    All armed groups, including those of the communists and Muslim secessionist groups, should be disbanded for the country to achieve stability, Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said yesterday. Duterte said even the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, the Moro National Liberation Front and the New People’s Army should be asked to lay down their arms once these groups agree to join him in what he described as a unity government if he becomes President in 2016. Duterte said under the federal government that he is …

  • Vatican seeks to quell Mexican anger over pope's drug remark
    Vatican seeks to quell Mexican anger over pope's drug remark

    VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican sought Wednesday to defuse a diplomatic tiff with Mexico after Pope Francis referred to the possible "Mexicanization" of his native Argentina from drug trafficking, the latest instance of Francis' casual speaking style getting him into trouble. …

  • School can’t sack unwed mom – SC
    School can’t sack unwed mom – SC

    The dismissal of an employee of a Catholic school on the grounds of premarital sexual relations and pregnancy out of wedlock was illegal, the Supreme Court (SC) has ruled. In a 23-page decision promulgated on Feb. 17, the third division of the high court struck down the decision of St. Scholastica’s College-Westgrove (SSCW) in Silang, Cavite to dismiss Cheryll Santos Leus for “disgraceful or immoral conduct” in violation of the school’s 1992 Manual of Regulations for Private Schools (MRPS). …

  • Who's your daddy? Hippo ancestry unveiled
    Who's your daddy? Hippo ancestry unveiled

    A great-great grandfather of the hippopotamus likely swam from Asia to Africa some 35 million years ago, long before the arrival of the lion, rhino, zebra and giraffe, researchers said Tuesday. "The origins of the hippopotamus have been a mystery until now," Fabrice Lihoreau, a palaeontologist at France's University of Montpellier and co-author of the study, told AFP. …

  • BOC destroys P50-M smuggled shoes
    BOC destroys P50-M smuggled shoes

    The Bureau of Customs (BOC) destroyed yesterday some P50 million worth of fake footwear products earlier seized in an anti-smuggling drive. The knockoffs of popular brands such as Nike, Adidas, Converse, Skechers, Northface, Leaveland, Merelle, Lacoste, Vans, Havaianas and Ipanema were confiscated from Warehouse 4 in Olivarez Compound, Parañaque City. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options