Thunder, Raptors cruise to playoff victories

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Kevin Durant scored a game-high 34 points, Russell Westbrook tallied 26 and the Oklahoma City Thunder cruised to a 131-102 first round playoff win over the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday.

With the victory in front of a crowd of 20,100 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, the Thunder grabbed a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven Western Conference series.

Game four is scheduled for Saturday in Dallas.

Wesley Matthews led the Mavericks with 22 points, Raymond Felton had 18 and Dirk Nowitzki finished with 16.

The Toronto Raptors also rolled to victory as Kyle Lowry finished with 21 points and eight assists and DeMar DeRozan added 21 points in a 101-85 victory over the host Indiana Pacers.

The Raptors lead the series 2-1 and regained home-court advantage after dropping game one in Toronto.

DeMarre Carroll scored 17 points for Toronto, which took a 10-9 lead and never trailed again.

Paul George led Indiana with 25 points, Myles Turner scored 17, and George Hill added 13.

Game four is set for Saturday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

The Golden State Warriors were set to take on the Houston Rockets later Thursday but the defending champions were going to have to try to take a stranglehold in the series without the services of league MVP Stephen Curry.

The star point guard sat out Thursday night’s contest with an ankle injury.

Curry expressed a desire to play in game three of the first-round Western Conference series in Houston, but coach Steve Kerr said it would be “irresponsible” to risk further injury. Golden State entered with a 2-0 series lead.

Curry missed game two after he injured the ankle in the series opener on Saturday. He practiced with the team on Wednesday but said the ankle was still bothering him.

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