Oklahoma City couldn’t find a rhythm and just couldn’t find the basket. They shot just 41% in the first half, and didn’t do much better in the second half as the Thunder trailed by as much as 16 points were handed their first defeat 100-87 to the Dallas Mavericks.
Kevin Durant led the game in scoring with 27 points. Russell Westbrook had 18 points. Westbrook also only had two turnovers. He’s had just four in his past two games. Much improved from his first four games.
Thunder were close in the game until midway in the second quarter, Jason Terry led the Mavericks charge as the mavs finished the second quarter 34-27. Harden ended the second quarter with a three ball to make it 54-47 at the break.
The second half was more Maverick points. Shawn Marion and Vince Carter combined for 31 points. Dirk Nowitzki had 24 points for the Mavs. Mavericks shot 48% for the ball game, including 17-20 from the free throw line. While, Oklahoma City finished 20-26 from the free throw line.
Oklahoma City made a run of it, cutting the lead to 91-83 late in the fourth quarter. However, Jason Terry and Dirk Nowitzki would trade baskets for Dallas, basically putting the game away. Dallas improved to 2-4, Oklahoma City drops to 5-1.
Post Game Grades
Control the tempo: C
Oklahoma City got very complacent at times, and just settled for their half court offense. That’s when Oklahoma City struggled. Oklahoma City had 28 fast break points to just 10 by Dallas.
Limit the Dallas bench: F
Dallas’ bench accounted for 47 points (47% of all scoring). Oklahoma City did not have an answer for the Maverick’s bench tonight. That simple.
Turnovers weren’t bad. However, Oklahoma City had too many in points in the game. OKC cut the lead to 8 points. Then, they had two straight turnovers trying to force passes into tight spots. Dallas turned those into five points, dagger in the heart.
Some game thoughts
- How missed was Daequan Cook tonight? Thunder shot poorly from the game, but from three-point range is was bad, 5-19 for just 26.3%
- Thabo Sefolosha was missed too. He had been shooting well. It was missed, especially his improved three point shot.
- Lazar Hayward was bad in this game. Not the slang bad, where it means good, just poor. He was 0-4 with a team low of -13. Sad part about it? He only played 10 minutes. I wouldn’t be against him not seeing the court again.
- Serge Ibaka was a lone bright spot for the interior. He had 10 points, 8 rebounds and 2 blocks. He did have four fouls, but overall, a decent offensive game. He also played a game high 41 minutes, weird.
- Russell Westbrook is basically back. He had 18 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists. and only 2 turnovers. He had been averaging 5.4 turnovers per game coming into the ball game.
- Kevin Durant was his self in the second half. he was just 4-10 at half time. Finished 6-11 for 15 points in the second half. KD did miss three free throws tonight
- How bad was our interior defense? Oklahoma City gave up 56 points in the paint, easily a season high.
- Kendrick Perkins came into the game as a career 60.4% free throw shooter. He made 5 of 6, and is shooting 81.8% this season. I’m so impressed by him this season.
- Oklahoma City had only 14 turnovers. It’s a slow improvement. Four of them were in the final three minutes when they were trying to force things, so I won’t hold those against them. Slowly getting better though at taking care of the ball.
- Miami’s loss happened while the Thunder were at halftime. Meaning, the Thunder was the last remaining undefeated team. 3-29 is so long ago.
- Why do players like Shawn Marion and Vince Carter do so well against us? Is it because we forget who they are.. or once were? I am not sure. We turn both players into All-Star caliber players when they play Oklahoma City.
OKC hosts Portland tomorrow night at 7 p.m. at the ‘Peake. Be there. Be loud.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!