Low point for Durant as Dallas level series

OKLAHOMA CITY • Raymond Felton was embarrassed. After the Dallas Mavericks were blown away by 38 points in Game 1 of their National Basketball Association first-round Western Conference play-off series against the Oklahoma City Thunder, the point guard could not believe the display his team put on.

Felton scored 21 points and made the tie-breaking shot with 39 seconds left, lifting Dallas to an 85-84 victory over the Thunder in Game 2 at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.

"We showed what type of fight we have," said the veteran.

Felton shot 8-of-16 from the field and grabbed 11 rebounds. Dirk Nowitzki added 17 points for Dallas, while Deron Williams scored 13.

Thunder forward Kevin Durant endured one of the worst shooting nights of his play-off career with a 7-of-33 outing for 21 points. Russell Westbrook posted 19 points, 14 rebounds and six assists.

"Just a bad shooting night for me," said Durant. "I just have to keep staying confident. And my team-mates and my coaches stay confident in me. They told me to keep shooting tonight, so I did. I didn't make them, so that is a part of it. Get ready for Game 3."

They next meet tomorrow (Friday morning, Singapore time) in Dallas.

Durant's 26 misses - including three in the final 24 seconds - were the most he has had in his career.

The score was 81-81 when Felton made Durant pay for another miss with a driving lay-up over Steven Adams. With 28 seconds left, Durant moved towards the basket, but the ball flew out and was ruled to have gone off a Mavericks player.

With Wesley Matthews guarding him, Durant missed a three-pointer from the corner. Matthews chased down the loose ball and turned it into a fastbreak lay-up to give Dallas a four-point advantage.

Durant finally buried a three-pointer with 9.5 seconds left. That set up the frantic finish.

Even though the Thunder shot 33.7 per cent on the night, they almost escaped with a win. They just missed - by a split second - what would have been a winning tip in from Steven Adams after Durant's missed lay-up.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 20, 2016, with the headline 'Low point for Durant as Dallas level series'. Subscribe