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Kevin Durant sticks another dagger in Dallas, this time with a drive

THUNDER 99, MAVERICKS 98 — This time Kevin Durant didn't settle for a long 3-pointer. This time he drove and delivered the game-winner in Game 1 of the Western Conference playoff series.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: April 29, 2012

As the final seconds trickled off the game clock, Kevin Durant put the ball on the floor and crossed the 3-point line.

That alone was a good start.

It was a sign that this last-second look could be different from most of the others.

And it would be.

Durant dropped in an off-balanced 15-foot jumper over Shawn Marion with 1.5 seconds remaining to give the Thunder a 99-98 win over Dallas in Game 1 of this opening-round series on Saturday night inside Chesapeake Energy Arena.

His leaner hit the rim and rattled around atop the cylinder before finally falling in.

As it did, Durant turned and raised both arms in triumph as the Mavericks hustled to inbound the ball and fire up a desperation heave. But as Marion crossed halfcourt, he failed to get off a shot before time expired, prompting confetti to rain down from the rafters signaling a scintillating opening-game victory in what could be a long and hard-fought series.

The final bucket went down as Durant's second, but most significant, game-winning dagger against Dallas this season.

“I just didn't want to settle for a 3 so I just tried to take it closer and shoot a shot,” Durant said. “I got enough arc on it and was able to get it to drop in.”

It was the type of play fans and media alike have been clamoring for Durant to make. It was as high of a percentage shot as Durant realistically could have gotten in that situation, certainly higher than attempts we've seen him hoist in the past.

“I like the fact the he drove to the basket and got to an area he can make that shot,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. “It was a great shot. It was contested, but great players make tough shots. That's what he has to do.”

Saturday's box score: Thunder 99, Mavs 98

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by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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