Thunder close in on semi-final spot

Sat Apr 23, 2016 11:27pm EDT
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(The Sports Xchange) - The Oklahoma City Thunder are a step away from the Western Conference semi-finals.

They showcased their superior talent and athleticism once again, leading wire-to-wire in a 119-108 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday at the American Airlines Center.

Oklahoma City has not trailed since its Game 2 loss and it now enjoys a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. The Thunder has a chance to close it out in Game 5 on Monday at home.

Dallas faces long odds to overcome the series deficit, as only nine teams in NBA history have come back to win a best-of-seven playoff series after trailing 3-1.

The Thunder were in control of Game 4 all night, never getting truly threatened by the Mavericks. Dallas had brief spurts to stay within striking distance, pulling within single-digits multiple times in the second half, but Oklahoma City always answered and had a multi-possession lead in the final minutes.

Enes Kanter led the charge for the Thunder with 28 points. Russell Westbrook had 25 points and 15 assists, and Kevin Durant finished with 19 points on seven-for-20 shooting.

Durant was ejected from the game with less than a minute left after the officials called him for a "Flagrant two." Durant had been trying to block a shot by Mavs guard Justin Anderson, but swiped across the rookie's head instead of the ball.

The ejection came on the heels of Dallas coach Rick Carlisle complaining about Durant and the Thunder for "nonbasketball physical escalations" in Game 3.

For the Mavs, Dirk Nowitzki led the team with 27 points on 12-for-21 shooting. Raymond Felton and Wesley Matthews each scored 19 points.   Continued...

Apr 23, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder center Enes Kanter (11) scores past Dallas Mavericks forward David Lee (42) and forward Dirk Nowitzki (41) during the fourth quarter in game four of the first round of the NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports