Oklahoma City trailed by three points at the break, used a team record, 10 blocks, by Serge Ibaka to help beat the Dallas Mavericks 95-86. While Russell Westbrook led all scores with 33 points on 11-24 shooting, including 2-4 from three-point range.
Oklahoma City’s defense was relentless on Dallas. They forced someone other than Dirk Nowitzki to beat them. Nowitzki finished with just eight points on 2-15 shooting. Dirk settled late in the game for contested three-point shots. Dallas shot just 36% from the field and 21% from behind the three-point line. Oklahoma City did not let the Mavericks get out and run, limiting them to just 16 fast break points.
Oklahoma City really started to pull away in the second half, pushing the lead up to 69-62 midway in the third quarter. Dallas was not to be outdone, cutting it to 69-66 with a little over a minute to go in the quarter. However, the head coach for the Mavericks, Rick Carlisle, would get a technical foul for contesting a call. Not very long after that, he’d get another technical foul and be ejected from the ball game.
Post Game Grades
Oklahoma City came in as one of the worst teams at holding onto the ball. However, they were great tonight. Only committing 14 turnovers. Russell Westbrook had six turnovers, but he’s so explosive on the offensive end, you don’t really noticed the full numbers.
Thunder had more assists than Dallas tonight. Albeit, they had the slim lead at 17-16. Westbrook had four of them. James Harden has NINE! It’s a start, but it wasn’t pretty.
Stop Shawn Marion: B
Shawn Marion struggled from the field, shooting just 6-15 and commiting 4 turnovers. He finished with 12 points, but wasn’t really an influence on the game. Great defense by the Thunder on this part.
Some thoughts on the game
- Kevin Durant had an off night 7-19 shooting, 1-5 from deep. Didn’t matter. he got his team involved, he rebounded. he’s really an all around play
- Serge Ibaka, wow! What a beast. He had ten blocks tonight. Six in the second half. A lot of people were complaing about Ibaka early in the season. He’s really come into his own the past week or so. This is the same guy we saw almost make the all-star team last year.
- Westbrook. I want to be the head of his fan club. He does so much on the court. I don’t care he’s a shoot first point guard, because this just wins. He proved it with 33 points, 6 rebounds and 4 asssts. I was a little surprised to see he had six turnovers.
- Oklahoma City played just eight players toinght. I was a bit surprised reading that.
- On that note, I’m curious to why Nazr Mohammed didn’t play.
- I want to rip on Daequan Cook’s 1-4 three-point shooting performance, but the kid was +11. Second highest on the team (Ibaka was +12).
- Oklahoma City really are improving on the defensive glass. This has started with the re-imergance of Serge Ibaka’s game. Since he’s been playing well, teams aren’t rebounding on the offensive end like they were in the previous games where he struggled.
- James Harden continued to struggle shooting the ball. He was 3-11 from the floor. He also was horrible from behind the arc at 0-5.
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