The Mavericks were completely outplayed in the first game of the series, losing by 38 points on Saturday, but they turned that around in front of their home fans to capture an important one-point win. He added 26 points and 15 assists, and he singlehandedly answered a run by the Mavericks in the third quarter.
Note: The sixth-seeded Mavericks will now return to their home floor on Thursday, hosting the No. 3-seeded Thunder in Game 3.
His duo, Durant, had a night to forget as he had one of his worst shooting displays in his career as he had 21 points but only shot 7-of-33 in the field – including 2-of-11 from beyond the arc.
Even if the Thunder were called for the plays Carlisle talks about, it wouldn’t have made an impact on the game.
Head to head, the Thunder are 15-6-1 ATS in the last 22 meetings in Dallas and the road team is 37-17-2 ATS in the last 56 meetings overall. They may just sneak a win again! Brooks was 338-207 in seven years with Oklahoma City, helping develop Durant and Westbrook into perennial All-Stars. “Good teams come back and bounce back and that’s what we have to do”.
Using his quickness, Westbrook shuffled his feet to make Villanueva adjust for a potential drive to the lane, but the move instead freed Westbrook up just enough for a quick elbow jumper over Villanueva’s outstretched arm. Nowitzki finished with 16 points on 7-of-12 shooting. Mavericks will host the next two games.
The same can be said for Salah Mejri, who played 28 minutes in Game 2 but only 14 in Game 3, with eight coming in the fourth quarter. “He’s the best player in the world”. Deron Williams, declared doubtful on Sunday with a left abdominal strain, scored 13 points, 11 in the game’s first 5 minutes. The Thunder took a commanding 19-point lead in the second quarter and the Mavs never came closer than nine points 30 seconds before halftime.
“There were four of what I would categorize as non-basketball physical altercations initiated by them”, he said.
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.
“It’s definitely hard. You play a team so many times and after a while, things don’t work the same”, Thunder’s starting point guard Russell Westbrook said. “I don’t think in Game 1 we played to our identity and even Game 2”. I’m not saying they should completely strip the roster of playing time, but simply give some of the younger, more important future assets some time to adjust and develop their game in a time of the season where the spotlight is on. They’ll need more healthy bodies and Dirk to be on target and Raymond Felton and Justin Anderson and everybody else to max out their effort and execution.