The Oklahoma City Thunder opened their semi-final series with the Memphis Grizzlies in the Western Conference with a nervy 93-91 win in front of their own fans on Sunday night.
Kevin Durant scored 35 points, including 12 in the fourth quarter, for the Thunder. He hit the go-ahead shot with 11.1 seconds remaining before two free throws from Reggie Jackson stretched the home team's lead.
Kevin Martin came off the bench to score 25 points as Oklahoma City rallied in the second half having at one staged trailed by as many as 12.
The Grizzlies' Quincy Pondexter had a chance to tie the game from the free-throw line, but was unable to make all three of his foul shots with less than two seconds to play.
Zach Randolph scored 18 points and pulled down 10 rebounds in a losing cause for Memphis, who had won four straight games to knock out out the Los Angeles Clippers in the previous round of the post season.
Game two of the best-of-seven series takes place in Oklahoma City on Tuesday.
In the Eastern Conference, the Indiana Pacers registered a second successive road victory in this year's play-offs with a 102-95 triumph over the New York Knicks.
David West scored 20 points and Paul George added 19 as the Pacers, who had come out on top in game six in Atlanta during the week to oust the Hawks, drew first blood in the series.
All five of Indiana's starters made it into double figures, while D.J. Augustin had 16 points off the bench.
Carmelo Anthony finished with 27 points and 11 rebounds but struggled against a strong Pacers defence led by centre Roy Hibbert, hitting just 10 of his 28 shot attempts.
He also got into foul trouble early in the third quarter, forcing the Knicks to put him on the bench. It was during his absence that the visitors opened up a sizeable advantage that proved too much for New York to overhaul late on.
The teams play for a second time on Tuesday night before the series moves to Indiana next Saturday. The Knicks could well have both Amare Stoudemire and Steve Novak back from injury by the weekend.