OKC Thunder defeats Mavericks to take 3-0 series lead

After two strangely poor shooting nights in the opening games of this series, Kevin Durant regained his touch and carried the Thunder to a 95-79 blowout of the Dallas Mavericks in Game 3 on Thursday night inside American Airlines Center.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: May 3, 2012

DALLAS — He's back.

The No. 35 that Thunder fans everywhere know and love has joined the playoff party.

And with him on board, now it seems the real fun can begin.

After two strangely poor shooting nights in the opening games of this series, Kevin Durant regained his touch and carried the Thunder to a 95-79 blowout of the Dallas Mavericks in Game 3 on Thursday night inside American Airlines Center.

With the victory, the Thunder took a commanding 3-0 series lead. Oklahoma City's first chance to close out the defending champions — and record its first playoff sweep — will come Saturday.

No team in NBA history has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit.

As long as Durant remains dialed in, things figure to stay that way.

Durant scored a game-high 31 points in 40 minutes Thursday, the first time he's toppled the 30-point plateau in these playoffs. He made 11-of-15 shots. He nailed 4-of-6 from 3-point range. And he had a game-high-tying six assists against just one turnover to complete what was easily his best performance yet in his third postseason.

One day earlier, an almost dejected Durant admitted to growing frustrated after watching just 15 of his first 44 shot attempts fall. But the three-time scoring champ remained positive and insisted it was only a matter of time before he would heat up.

On this night, Durant came out hot — but not before missing his first attempt, a driving layup.

“I missed my first layup, so I thought it was going to be a long night,” Durant told TNT in his on-court interview immediately following the game.

But Durant would miss just one more shot the rest of the first half, finishing the opening half with 21 points on 8-of-10 shooting.

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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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