DALLAS, TX - MAY 03: Derek Fisher #37 of the Oklahoma City Thunder celebrates a three point shot against the Dallas Mavericks during Game Three of the Western Conference Quarterfinal at American Airlines Center on May 3, 2012 in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Thunder Sweep Mavericks, Await Winner Of Lakers-Nuggets

The trio of Durant, Westbrook and Harden could fuel an NBA Finals run for the Thunder.

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Kevin Durant Says Mavericks Still Present Tough Series Ahead

Even though the Oklahoma City Thunder ripped the heart out of the Dallas Mavericks in game one with a last second jumper by Kevin Durant to win the game, the league's leading scorer realizes that there's still a long road ahead if the team wants to win the opening series of the 2012 NBA Playoffs. The Mavs, after all, are the defending champions, so one game doesn't make or break such a storied team.

"Those guys, man, they're a mentally tough team," Durant said after Game 1. "They come at you in so many different ways so I don't think we got their best shot. We've just got to keep playing. Our defense was decent. We've just go to continue to pick each other up. We'll see what happens. This is a long series."

The Thunder have the pivotal win in the first game, which means quite a bit moving forward having the momentum and the advantage. However, Dirk Nowitzki and company have been in such places before. Scott Brooks, OKC's head coach, isn't fooled for a minute into thinking that they can rest on their laurels at this point.

"You always know that they can play better because they have in the past," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. "They are the defending champions, although they don't have a few of the players they won the championship with last year. But they have some key players that are champions and are going to have good games. We have to keep fighting them and forcing them to take tough shots. I thought we did that in the second half [of Game 1] as well as we've done."

For more on the Oklahoma City Thunder, be sure to check out Welcome to Loud City and join the discussion. For more on the Dallas Mavericks, check out Mavs Moneyball. For more on the 2012 NBA Playoffs, check out the SB Nation NBA hubpage.

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2012 NBA Playoffs, Thunder Vs. Mavericks: Scott Brooks Calls Out Rick Carlisle For Officiating Comments

The Oklahoma City Thunder and Dallas Mavericks have perhaps the most intriguing first round match-up in the 2012 NBA Playoffs. It’s the up-and-coming favorites against the defending champs. It’s old versus new and a clash of superstars with incredible experience against those forging the beginnings of all-time greatness right now. Given the recent history between the two, it’s also a bit of a soap opera.

The latest chapter comes from Rick Carlisle, head coach of the Dallas Mavericks, who called out the officiating in the first game. The Thunder won by one point, but Carlisle made sure to point out the consistent fouls he believed were committed against Dirk Nowitzki. Thunder head coach Scott Brooks responded with a yawn.

“Might as well just go back to your quotes in 2011, he said the same thing,” Brooks said Sunday, referring to last season’s Western Conference finals series.

“They average 20 free throws a game and they shot (25),” he continued. “We average 27, we shot 20. If you’re going to get into that I think you’re taking away what NBA basketball is about. You play your game, you do it as hard as you can and you live with the results. You guys can’t be sucked into that. That’s what he does.”

Thunder center Kendrick Perkins backed up his coach.

“I mean they average 20 free throws for the season and they shot (25) last night, so they shot (five) more free throws than us so it ain’t really nothing to complain about,” Perkins said. “We just tried to make him play in a crowd and be physical with him a little.”

For more on the Oklahoma City Thunder, be sure to check out Welcome to Loud City and join the discussion. For more on the Dallas Mavericks, check out Mavs Moneyball. For more on the 2012 NBA Playoffs, check out the SB Nation NBA hub page.

The Mavs try to even the series tomorrow in game two.

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