DALLAS Thunder coach Scott Brooks had a big decision to make. With Game 2 of the Western Conference finals on the line, he either had to stick with a lineup of four reserves who were playing well or switch to the group he usually trusts late in the fourth quarter.
He bet on the backups. And now the series is headed back to Oklahoma City all tied up, thanks to his gutsy call.
James Harden, Eric Maynor, Nick Collison and Daequan Cook teamed with Kevin Durant to build a healthy lead late in the fourth quarter, then made it hold up for a 106-100 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday night.
Oklahoma City went into the fourth quarter leading by one following a four-point play by Harden in the final seconds of the third quarter. The guys who were asked to protect that slim lead never gave it up.
Harden scored 23 points. In the fourth quarter, he made 4 of 5 shots, including a pair of 3-pointers.
Durant still led the Thunder with 24 points.