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(Sunday, March 17th)
Final Score: Oklahoma City 107, Dallas 101
Dallas, TX (Sports Network) - Thabo Sefolosha recorded only four points Sunday versus Dallas, but his final basket -- a fadeaway baseline jumper with 12 seconds to play -- put Oklahoma City ahead by four to all but secure a 107-101 victory over the Mavericks.
Russell Westbrook scored a game-high 35 points to go along with six rebounds and six assists for the Thunder, who have won three straight and eight of nine.
Kevin Durant scored 31 points and grabbed nine boards, while Serge Ibaka recorded a double-double with 18 points and 16 rebounds as Oklahoma City picked up its 11th straight victory - including the postseason - against the Mavs.
"Every time we play Dallas, it seems that we should start the game with a two- minute game at 0-0," Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks said. "That's what it seems to come down to every game. It comes down to the last two or three minutes of the game. I like the way we competed and we showed a competitive spirit throughout the game. We had a run, they had a run, we had a run -- it kept going back and forth and neither team gave up."
Dirk Nowitzki had 23 points and seven rebounds and Vince Carter followed with 18 points for the Mavericks, who have lost two of three following a four-game winning streak.
Sefolosha's basket came surprisingly, as he drove to baseline and juked a defender before falling back and nailing the floater which helped the Thunder escape with the win.
Two Westbrook free throws with 3 1/2 minutes remaining put Oklahoma City ahead by six, but the hosts quickly fought back with six unanswered, as Nowitzki tied things up at 101-101 with 1:20 to play.
Westbrook, who found his groove in the second half, stayed hot with a jumper from the right side of the key to make it 103-101 with one minute remaining. Then, on Dallas' next possession, the team struggled to find a solid look and some tough defense from Durant forced a costly shot clock violation.
"We could have done better (against their defense)," Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said. "They were doing a lot of switching. We got up against the clock. Didn't do a good job. It was a tough possession."
Westbrook's strong third quarter kept Oklahoma City alive, as he scored 15 of the team's 23 points, but even more surprising was that Ibaka was the only other Thunder player to find the scoreboard, adding the other eight points. The Thunder led, 73-72, to head into the fourth.
In the toe-to-toe first half, the Mavs took a 26-24 lead after one quarter, but the Thunder led at the break, 50-49.
The Thunder have won six straight over Dallas ... The margin was never greater than six points for either team after halftime ... There were 15 lead changes and nine ties in the contest ... Darren Collison and Mike James scored 12 and 14 points, respectively, for the Mavs.
03/17 22:09:18 ET
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