Kevin Durant bounced back from the worst shooting game of his playoff career with 34 points and the Oklahoma City Thunder retook control of their first-round series with a 131-102 victory over the Mavericks in Game 3 on Thursday night in Dallas. There is a clear divide between the top as Golden State and San Antonio tower over the Western Conference. G J.J. Barea (right groin strain) and F David Lee (right plantar fascia injury) missed the game.
Guard Devin Harris is playing with a torn ligament in his left thumb, and Carlisle said he came through Game 2 in decent shape. I originally planned on doing a video breakdown to show exactly what went wrong last night, but Westbrook and Durant combining to shoot 15-55 and Raymond Felton shooting 8-16 to score 21 points seems like a good enough explanation.
According to Elias Sports, The Mavs became the first team since 1995 (Celtics) to win game two of a series after losing game one by 35 or more points. Dallas will host Game 4, before the shifting back to Oklahoma City.
“There were four, what I would categorize as non-basketball physical escalations that were initiated by them”, Carlisle said, “including one intentional, unprovoked elbow at the free-throw line that I didn’t understand and I’ve never seen a guy like Kevin Durant ever do that to a player”.
Center Salah Mejri was a surprise for the Mavs coming off the bench as he tallied 12 points, three rebounds, one assist, with three rejections.
Durant knocked down his seventh bucket midway through the second quarter Thursday, taking 24 fewer shots than he needed to match his Game 2 total.
Game 4 is Saturday night at 7:00 in Dallas. He finished with 15 assists, one off his playoff career high. He had six points in 17 minutes. The Thunder had a 97-78 by the end of the third quarter, and they went on to lead by at least double digits the final 23:14 of the game.
Felton was angered by being elbowed in the face by Adams when they were boxing out under the basket.
Yes, the dancing duo of Russell Westbrook and Cameron Payne did not shy away from the hostile territory, they jived per their pre-game routine, but this time, Charlie Villanueva was robbed of his cameo.
For the Mavs, JJ Barea returned to the starting unit and made an instant impact with 15 points and 7 assists.
No Dallas player was perhaps more crucial to slowing down the scoring machine as Wesley Matthews, whose box score stats weren’t indicative of his value.