James, Durant big nights have teams up 3-0

It was a bad night for the home teams in the NBA playoffs, as the Dallas Mavericks and New York Knicks combined to score just 149 points and moved within one loss of elimination on Thursday.

Longest Playoff Losing Streaks By Sport

On a day where New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera suffered a torn ACL, the Knicks set an NBA record by losing their 13th straight playoff game. The last time the Knicks won a playoff game was April 29, 2001. Rivera earned career save number 171 on the same day, and has recorded 437 regular-season games since then.

The Knicks led by four points at halftime before being outscored 51-30 in the second half by the Miami Heat. In the fourth period, they were outscored 17-14 … by LeBron James. The 17 points tied a playoff career high for James in the fourth quarter, matching his output against the Orlando Magic in the 2009 Conference Finals.

According to Elias, the Knicks tied the NBA shot-clock era record of 38 consecutive games without scoring 100 points. The last time New York reached a century was on June 9, 1999, a 101-94 win over the Indiana Pacers. The other team to have 38 games between scoring 100 points was the Heat, from 1997 to 2004.

How hard was it for the Knicks to score? They were just 22-for-69 from the field and made only eight field goals in the second half. They shot 32 percent from the field, breaking the franchise record for worst field goal percentage in a playoff game. Their previous low was 33 percent in the 1999 NBA Finals against the San Antonio Spurs.

The home crowd in Dallas wasn’t treated to much more offense. The Mavericks scored 79 points against the Oklahoma City Thunder, their lowest playoff point total since losing 98-74 to the Heat in Game 4 of the 2006 NBA Finals. The Thunder never trailed in the game, and the only time the game was tied was 0-0. In Game 2, there were 16 lead changes and 16 ties.

Kevin Durant had the best shooting night of his playoff career, making 11 of 15 shots. After making on 15 of 44 shots in the first two games (34 percent), he shot a playoff career-high 73 percent from the field on Thursday. His previous playoff high was 59 percent (13-for-22) against the Denver Nuggets last season.

Kevin Durant from 15+ Feet
Western Conference 1st Round

Durant was even better from mid- and long-range. After making only 6 of 21 shots from 15 feet or further in the first two games, he was 8-for-10 in Game 3.

The Mavericks are the second defending champion in NBA history to lose their first three playoff games. The only other defending champ to do so was the Miami Heat, who were swept out of the playoffs in 2007 by the Chicago Bulls.