Russell Westbrook scored 29 points, Kevin Durant added 26 points as the Oklahoma City Thunder eked out a 102-99 victory over the defending champion Dallas Mavericks on Monday night to take a 2-0 series lead.
The Mavs led in the final minute of both games in Oklahoma City but couldn't even manage a split as the Thunder gutted out two wins by a total of four points.
"That's what the playoffs are about," Westbrook said. "Toughness."
Durant hit two free throws with 50.4 seconds left to give Oklahoma City a 98-97 lead, and James Harden hit four more foul shots to close it out for the Thunder.
Jason Terry missed two 3-point attempts from the left wing in the final five seconds that could have tied it and send the game to overtime.
"We come away from these two games disappointed but not dismayed. You tip your hat to the fact that they have made some big time plays," Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said. "Now, we've got to go home and do the same."
Dirk Nowitzki led the Mavericks with 31 points but missed both his shots in the final 75 seconds.
Game 3 is on Thursday night in Dallas, where the Mavericks hopes to avoid a 0-3 deficit against a young Thunder squad.
(AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)