6 May 2012

Dallas eliminated from NBA play-offs

5:49 pm on 6 May 2012

The reigning NBA basketball champion Dallas Mavericks have been swept out of the first round of the playoffs as the Oklahoma City Thunder wrapped up their Western Conference series with a 103-97 victory.

James Harden scored 15 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter as the Thunder made the Mavericks the first defending champions to be swept in the first round since the Miami Heat in 2007.

They became the first team to reach the second round, where they will face either the Los Angeles Lakers or Denver Nuggets.

Dirk Nowitzki, the Most Valuable Player of last season's NBA finals triumph over Miami, led the Mavericks with 34 points and Jason Kidd added 16 with eight assists and seven rebounds.

Elsewhere in the West, the Los Angeles Clippers rallied for a dramatic 87-86 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies to take a 2-1 lead in their best of seven series.

Top-seeded San Antonio beat Utah 102-90 to take a 3-nil lead.

In the East, the Indiana Pacers beat the Orlando Magic 101-99 to take a 3-1 lead.