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Published on May 18, 2011
Dirk Nowitzki outgunned Kevin Durant and overwhelmed one Thunder defender after another Tuesday, scoring 48 points in the Mavericks' 121-112 win in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals in Dallas. A parade of Oklahoma City players unsuccessfully tried to guard Nowitzki -- including Serge Ibaka, Nick Collison, Thabo Sefolosha, Kendrick Perkins, James Harden and Durant -- and the 7-footer made a record-setting parade to the foul line, shooting a perfect 24-for-24 at the stripe to go along with his 12-for-15 effort from the field.
Nowitzki broke the NBA playoff record for free throws made without a miss, previously held by Boston's Paul Pierce with a 21-for-21 game in a 2003 first-round series against Indiana. The Mavericks extended their franchise-record postseason winning streak to seven games and improved to 6-0 at home in the playoffs. Jason Terry (24) and J.J. Barea (21) helped the Dallas bench outscore the Thunder reserves by a 53-22 margin and Jason Kidd delivered 11 assists