james harden

Down by 13 points with less than 10 minutes remaining, youthful Oklahoma City could have easily have been content knowing they could go home for a Game 5 still needing to win only one more game.

The Thunder, with their 20-something All-Star duo Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, are instead going home to wait and see who they will play next.

And it was their other emerging star who led the way.

James Harden scored 15 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter, including nine in a 12-0 run, and the Thunder rallied for a 103-97 victory Saturday night to complete a first-round series sweep of the defending NBA champion Dallas Mavericks.

”I got into attack mode. I was determined to make plays,” Harden said.

”He was phenomenal,” said Durant, who scored 24 points. ”His pick and roll game is unreal. It’s fun to watch, fun to be part of. The best part about our team is that we have a lot of guys who can play off each other, and we complement each other well.” …

Durant had 11 rebounds, while Westbrook and Fisher had 12 points each…

”It was an up and down year,” said Nowitzki, the 11-time All-Star who had 34 points. ”We weren’t consistent enough throughout to be an elite team.” …

Jason Kidd, the Mavericks’ 39-year-old point guard, had 16 points and eight assists. Jason Terry had 11 points in what might have also been his last game in Dallas.

– Reported by Stephen Hawkins of the Associated Press