OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - APRIL 17: Kevin Durant #35 of the Oklahoma City Thunder celebrates a three-point shot against the Denver Nuggets in Game One of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs on April 17, 2011 at the Ford Center in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

Thunder Vs. Nuggets, Game 1: Durant, Westbrook Huge In Oklahoma City Win

Kevin Durant scored 41 points and Russell Westbrook had 31, leading the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 107-103 victory over the Denver Nuggets in Game 1 of their Western Conference quarterfinal series.

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NBA Admits Referees Blew Call On Kendrick Perkins Offensive Basket Interference

The NBA says Kendrick Perkins should have been whistled for offensive basket interference late in the fourth quarter of the Oklahoma City Thunder's narrow Game 1 win over the Denver Nuggets on Sunday. Unfortunately, Perkins wasn't whistled, and the basket Perkins made on the play helped clinch the Thunder win. The basket gave Oklahoma City a 102-101 with a touch over a minute left; the Thunder got a stop and Russell Westbrook hit a jumper to give OKC a 104-101 lead. Denver couldn't convert an attempt to tie, and that was that.

While the play looked tough to gauge from the primary TV angle, just about every Nuggets immediately signaled that Perk was guilty of a goaltend, and the closer angle replay verified that allegation.

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Unfortunately for the Nuggets, offensive basket interference is not reviewable by referees; whatever the officials call in realtime stands, unless other officials immediately change the call. Expect the NBA to consider adding late-game basket interference calls to the short list of those reviewable at referees' discretion. 

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Nuggets vs. Thunder, Final Score: Durant, Westbrook Go Big In Thunder's 107-103 Victory

The three Oklahoma City Thunder starts not named Kevin Durant or Russell Westbrook combined for nine points Sunday night against the Denver Nuggets. Good thing for them, the ones that are named Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook combined 72 points in their 107-103 victory in Game 1 of their Western Conference quarterfinal series.

Eric Maynor added 12 points off the bench, the only other scorer in double figures for a Thunder team that relied on its two All-Stars — particularly down the stretch.

Durant and Westbrook scored 16 of Oklahoma City’s 21 points in the fourth quarter, with Westbrook getting a pair of key buckets down the stretch.

“Give them credit, they stepped up and made big plays when we needed it,” said Thunder head coach Scott Brooks.

Nene had 22 points and Danilo Gallinari scored 18 to lead the Nuggets, who will look to even the series in Game 2 on Wednesday in Oklahoma City.

For more on the Thunder, check out Welcome To Loud City. For more on the Nuggets, visit Denver Stiffs and SB Nation Denver.

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Nuggets vs. Thunder Score: Denver Leads High-Scoring Affair 60-59 At Half

In a game that features 159 points in one half, you better believe scoring got going early in Game 1 of the Denver Nuggets and Oklahoma City Thunder NBA Playoff series.

Denver made its first seven shots of the game and cruised to a 16-6 lead. By the end of the first quarter, the Nuggets led OKC 33-24 and seemed to have Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant somewhat in check.

However, Westbrook and Durant came alive and finished with 21 points and 16 points, respectively, to keep the Thunder in the game. Nene led the Nuggets with 14 but it was barely enough to keep them in the lead, 60-59, at the buzzer expired.

This one looks to keep up as a track meet. Denver will want to keep Danilo Gallinari out of trouble as he’s already got three fouls.

For more on the Thunder, check out Welcome To Loud City. For more on the Nuggets, visit Denver Stiffs and SB Nation Denver.

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Thunder Vs. Nuggets, Game 1: Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook Face Huge Test In First Round

The Oklahoma City Thunder are a popular pick to challenge the Lakers in the West, but the team has an amazing test in the first round. Since the All-Star break, no team but perhaps the Chicago Bulls has been better than the Denver Nuggets, who traded Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups for three starting-level players and Timofey Mozgov. The result has been incredible, as George Karl has been able to maintain Denver's top offense from the 'Melo days while seriously improving the defense, even though the team's two best defenders -- Nene and Kenyon Martin -- were incumbents.

The Thunder's defense, on the other hand, suffered this year, possibly because of the exit of assistant coach Ron Adams, who re-joined the Bulls. The trade for Kendrick Perkins figures to help; the former Celtic will have his hands full with Nene, one of the league's most electric in the paint. That's a real flashpoint in this battle: the Thunder defense against a wonderful Denver offense.

The other, of course, is whether the Nuggets can contain Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Durant is the league's best scorer over the past two years; Westbrook is among the league's elite point guards (a pretty wonderful club) and poses problems for any defender. The Thunder won a home-and-home over Denver recently largely because of KD and Westbrook; in fairness to the Nuggets, that's been the case of many of OKC's 55 wins.

Game 1 of the series tips off at 9:30 p.m. ET on TNT. Be sure to see our full Thunder vs. Nuggets series preview. For more on the Thunder, check out Welcome To Loud City. For more on the Nuggets, visit Denver Stiffs and SB Nation Denver.

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