Harden, Thunder sweep Dallas from NBA playoffs
By Staff Reports
Saturday, May 05, 2012
DALLAS — James Harden scored 15 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter as Oklahoma City rallied for a 103-97 victory Saturday night to sweep the defending NBA champion Dallas Mavericks out of the playoffs.
The Thunder trailed by 13 points with 9:44 left before Harden scored seven in a row, and nine in a 12-0 run over the next 3 minutes.
Oklahoma City finally took the lead, and kept it, after Russell Westbrook stole the ball from Dirk Nowitzki and passed to Serge Ibaka for a two-handed slam that made it 92-91 with 5:17 left.
Dallas is the second defending champion in five years to be swept in the first round. After beating the Mavericks in the 2006 NBA Finals, Miami lost in four games to Chicago the next year.
Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant (35) shoots past Dallas' Dirk Nowitzki (41) as center Nazr Mohammed (8) looks on during the half of Game 4 in a first-round NBA basketball playoff series Saturday. LM OTERO/The Associated Press