(AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Dirk Nowitzki had 48 points on just 15 shots, becoming the first player to score 48 or more points on that limited of shots. He also set an NBA record for most consecutive free throws in a game, hitting 24 of 24 from the charity stripe, breaking Paul Pierce’s record of 21 consecutive of 21.

Kevin Durant kept the Thunder in it throughout, trailing by as many as 15 points in the fourth quarter, totaling up for 40 points. Durant went 10-18 for 40 points. Leading his team down the stretch, but was not able to help the Thunder get the stop they needed late in the fourth quarter. Might have been the quietest 40 points in NBA history.

This is a series that is going to be long. Not just seven games long. I’m talking almost three hour games long. Especially if the Thunder and the Mavs continue to foul like this. Both teams combined to shoot 79 free throws.  Dirk had 24 of them himself. Rest of the Mavericks were 10-12. Russell Westbrook and Durant combined to go 32-37 from the line.

Russell Westbrook has arguably his worst game of the season, in my opinion. He’s 3-15 from the field. He still came out and still had 20 points, going 14-18 from the line. He wasn’t out of control or making silly turnovers (had just four). I do expect a better shot making game from the Honey Badger in game 2.

Now, breaking down the Keys to the game. Might not be as key as I thought. I was very nervous of writing the Keys for a team we haven’t seen in four months. Let’s break them down though.

Bench Game: Jason Terry and JJ Barea had 24 and 21 off the bench. The Mavericks bench outscore the Thunder bench 53-22. Harden tried to help the bench for Oklahoma City Thunder, unfortunately no one else was able to get going offensively. Harden has 12 points. Scottie Brooks tried to light a fire under the Thunder by putting Nate Robinson in the third quarter. He finished 0-3, also -4 while Barea continued to light him up while he was in there. Scoring 12 consecutive points with Robinson guarding him.

Grade: F

Three Point Shooting: Coming off a 20-32 performance versus the Lakers, I was curious how they would come out against Oklahoma City. Mavs started out 0-5 from 3 point range in the first quarter, they finished 9-18.  Including a dagger by Terry in the final minutes of the ball game. The Thunder did decent. The first half they were on fire. At the break, OKC was 6-10 from beyond the perimeter. Thunder finished 1-7 for the second half.  Must be more consistent on both sides.

Grade: C

Energy: First quarter it looked like the Thunder was the more energetic team and the Mavericks looked lethargic. However, Jason Terry and the rest of the Mavs woke up in the second quarter and punched the Thunder in the mouth. They made a run on the second team to cut a nine point deficit to a tie ball game. Then midway through the second game, they pushed a 16-1 run to take a seven point lead at halftime. Russell Westbrook at times looks worn down. I personally don’t feel this was much of a difference maker as I originally thought it would be though.

Grade: C-

Overall: Now, I’m just going to say this. Remember what you just witnessed. Nowitzki just had one of the best playoff performances EVER. He made 36 of 39 shots. Are you kidding me? I don’t know if Jordan, Cousy or Bird did anything like that. However, do I think he’ll be this dominate for seven games. Probably not. Not saying it’s a guaranteed thing he will slack off every game. However, I don’t feel he’ll have 48 points on 15 shots every game. I don’t think Westbrook will shoot that poorly either.

Game 2 is Thursday at 8PM on ESPN.

We invite you to follow Thunder Digest on Twitter and like Thunder Digest on Facebook. Don't forget to subsribe on Youtube! Our Podcast is on iTunes and on Stitcher. We also have a Thunder Digest Instagram account if you love fun Thunder photography!

Related Articles

About author View all posts Author website

Chuck Chaney

Founder & Editor-in-Chief.
Member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.