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Red-hot Nowitzki powers Mavs to 1-0 lead

DALLAS — Dirk Nowitzki showed no rust from a long layoff, making 10 of his first 11 shots and an NBA playoff-record 24 straight free throws on the way to 48 points, leading the Mavericks to a 121-112 victory over the Thunder in Game 1 of the Western Conference final Tuesday night.

Nowitzki was impossible for the Thunder to cover. Six guys tried stopping him, and the big German shot over them or put them in foul trouble. He made 13 free throws in the third quarter.

"I was really looking to shoot early and was able to get my rhythm after the first couple of shots," said Nowitzki, who finished 12-of-15 from the field and 24-of-24 from the line "I kept attacking, and my teammates kept feeding me and feeding me, and I was able to take advantage over some smaller players."

Despite going nine days between games, the Mavericks picked up where they left off in a sweep of the Lakers. They have won seven straight this postseason and are 6-0 at home.

Kevin Durant scored 40 for the Thunder, and guard Russell Westbrook struggled, finishing 3-for-15 from the field. He scored 14 of his 20 from the line.

Mavericks 121, Thunder 112

OKLAHOMA CITY (112): Durant 10-18 18-19 40, Ibaka 7-11 3-3 17, Perkins 3-4 1-2 7, Westbrook 3-15 14-18 20, Sefolosha 2-2 0-0 6, Collison 2-4 0-0 4, Harden 5-9 1-1 12, Maynor 0-1 0-0 0, Mohammed 0-1 0-0 0, Cook 2-4 0-0 6, Robinson 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 34-72 37-43 112.

DALLAS (121): Marion 5-10 1-1 11, Nowitzki 12-15 24-24 48, Chandler 1-2 1-2 3, Kidd 1-3 0-0 3, Stevenson 1-4 0-0 3, Terry 8-16 4-4 24, Haywood 1-1 1-2 3, Brewer 1-2 0-0 2, Stojakovic 1-8 0-0 3, Barea 8-12 3-3 21. Totals 39-73 34-36 121.

Oklahoma City 27 21 31 33— 112

Dallas 20 35 35 31— 121

3-Point GoalsOklahoma City 7-16 (Sefolosha 2-2, Cook 2-3, Durant 2-5, Harden 1-4, Robinson 0-2), Dallas 9-23 (Terry 4-8, Barea 2-3, Stevenson 1-3, Kidd 1-3, Stojakovic 1-6). Fouled OutMarion. ReboundsOklahoma City 42 (Durant 8), Dallas 38 (Chandler 8). AssistsOklahoma City 19 (Durant 5), Dallas 22 (Kidd 11). Total FoulsOklahoma City 27, Dallas 28. TechnicalsOklahoma City Coach Brooks, Perkins, Oklahoma City defensive three second 2, Dallas Coach Carlisle, Chandler, Terry.

Cavs land top spot: The Cavs got a huge jump on their rebuilding process, winning the lottery and the No. 1 selection in next month's draft. Turning a pick they acquired from the Clippers into the top selection, the Cavs will pick first for the first time since 2003, when they drafted LeBron James. He left for the Heat last summer, and the Cavs tumbled to the second-worst record in the league, but they will have two of the top-four picks (see chart for order).

Rivers fine after surgery: Celtics coach Doc Rivers is recovering from surgery to remove a benign polyp in his throat. Doctors told Rivers he is cancer free, the team said. He joked that his family will be happy he can't talk for two weeks.

Heat 'a whiny bunch': Forget "Big Three" when it comes to the Heat. Charles Barkley prefers to go with "whiny bunch." In Chicago for TNT's coverage of the East final between the Heat and Bulls, Barkley offered his thoughts while on the local ESPN Radio affiliate. "Those guys are actually a whiny bunch," he said. "They never take any personal responsibility to why people take shots at them."

Raptors: Bryan Colangelo will remain president and general manager, agreeing to a multiyear extension. Terms were not disclosed.

.Fast facts

Draft lottery

The NBA's draft lottery, involving 12 nonplayoff teams for the top 14 spots, finalized the first-round order. The draft is June 23.

1. Cavs *

2. T'wolves

3. Jazz *

4. Cavs

5. Raptors

6. Wizards

7. Kings

8. Pistons

9. Bobcats

10. Bucks

11. Warriors

12. Jazz

13. Suns

14. Rockets

15. Pacers

16. 76ers

17. Knicks

18. Wizards *

19. Bobcats *

20. T'wolves *

21. Trail Blazers

22. Nuggets

23. Rockets *

24. Thunder

25. Celtics

26. Mavericks

27. Nets *

28. Bulls *

29. Spurs

30. Bulls

* No. 1 from Clippers; No. 3 from Nets; No. 18 from Hawks; No. 19 from Hornets via Blazers; No. 20 from Grizzlies via Jazz; No. 23 from Magic via Suns; No. 27 from Lakers; No. 28 from Heat via Raptors

Red-hot Nowitzki powers Mavs to 1-0 lead 05/17/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 18, 2011 12:26am]
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