Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 4/28/12

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Kevin Durant's 18-foot jump shot bounced off the rim, off the backboard and back into the basket with 1.5 seconds left, giving the Oklahoma City Thunder a 99-98 victory over the Dallas Mavericks in the opener of a first-round NBA playoff series Saturday night.

The Thunder, seeded second in the Western Conference, trailed the seventh-seeded Mavs by as many as seven points in the final 2 1/2 minutes before rallying.

Durant's driving dunk with 1:27 left tied the score at 94-94, and the teams then kept trading the lead in the final seconds before Durant hit his winning shot.

Dirk Nowitzki's two free throws with nine seconds left had given Dallas its final lead. Nowitzki led Dallas with 25 points, and Jason Terry came off the bench to score 20.

Russell Westbrook led Oklahoma City with 28 points, and Durant scored 25 despite an off shooting night (10-for-27).

Oklahoma City has been preordained as the newest heavyweight in the Western Conference, penciled in by many to waltz all the way to the NBA Finals. But the defending champion Mavericks wasted no time showing the up-and-coming Thunder that they're a long way from realizing their championship dreams and that the road still goes through Dallas.

The Mavs led 51-48 at halftime, getting 14 points from Jason Terry, 10 from Dirk Nowitzki and seven apiece from Shawn Marion and Vince Carter. Terry was his typical self as a sparkplug off the bench, making his first six shots before missing his final attempt of the half.

Dallas also benefited from outrebounding Oklahoma City 21-15, grabbing five offensive rebounds to outscore the Thunder 7-2 in second-chance points.

Serge Ibaka made a 3-pointer from the top of the arc just before the halftime buzzer to bring the Thunder within three.

NOTES: Mavs guard Delonte West was a game-time decision with an illness but started at shooting guard. ... Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said before the game that seeing Chicago guard and reigning MVP Derrick Rose tear his ACL was "heart-breaking" and "gut-wrenching." Rose will miss the remainder of the playoffs.

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