The Dallas Mavericks had plenty of chances to take control of the series with a win in Game 2 before heading back to Dallas for Game 3.
Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavs missed key open threes. Russell Westbrook and the Thunder didn't miss key open free throws.
Westbrook poured in 29 points and the Thunder sank 37-of-39 free throws, including 6-of-6 in the last minute, to hold serve at home with a 102-99 victory Monday night.
Kevin Durant added 26, but struggled from the field once again shooting just 5-of-17. He made up for it at the free throw line cashing in 14-of-16 chances from the charity stripe.
With just over two minutes remaining, a Vince Carter (five points) bucket put Dallas on top 97-96. Westbrook missed back-to-back jumpers sandwiched between a Jason Kidd turnover.
The ensuing possession saw the Mavs find Nowitzki wide open for a three-pointer on the left wing. Nowitzki had time to set his feet but missed long giving Oklahoma City another chance, still trailing by just one.
When the ball was knocked out of bounds, the Thunder was left to inbound with just 2.5 seconds left on the shot clock. Durant caught the ball in the corner with his back toward the basket, but he was bumped out of bounds by Jason Terry giving the scoring champion a trip to the line.
Durant sank both, followed by a Nowitzki miss. James Harden sank two of his 10 free throws on the night, giving Oklahoma City the 100-97 lead with 25 seconds remaining.
Terry drove for an uncontested layup, but when Dallas failed to steal the inbounds pass, Harden was again fouled. After making both, the Thunder held a 102-98 advantage.
Terry had two chances to force overtime but couldn't find the bottom of the net.
Oklahoma City led by as many as 17 in the first half before Dallas closed the halftime gap to 57-50.
Nowitzki and Kendrick Perkins were each assessed technical fouls in the first half after a brief altercation in which Nowitzki bumped Perkins, who had to be separated from Nowitzki.
Nowitzki led all scorers with 31. Harden pitched in 15 off the bench for the Thunder. Perkins added 13, while Derek Fisher had 11.
Oklahoma City accomplished its goal by defending home court, but it wasn't As all around. Here are the grades for Game 2.