Last night was hardly the rematch we had been expecting. Both Jason Kidd and Dirk Nowitzki were held out of tonight’s game, they’ll be in the lineup on Tuesday for the re-rematch. Instead tonight was about the Mavs showing off their newcomers, the Thunder showing their maturity, and most importantly, the NBA showing it was back.
Any fears that the Thunder might be a little rusty due to the lockout quickly vanished, the Thunder was on fire tonight shooting 56% going 31/55, with the started shooting 60%. Durant led the team with 21 points. Dominique Jones and former Thunder for 10 minutes Rodrique Beaubois led the Mavs with 17. The Mavs hope Beaubois will serve as a scoring presences off the bench after losing JJ Barea in free agency.
Sefolosha, 5 Points 2 steals, started, which is understandable, until the Thunder get another consistent scorer off the bench. James Harden, who had 16 points, will likely lead the second team. Westbrook accounted for 12 points on 4/8 shooting.
Kendrick Perkins looked like a new man. He was explosive on both sides of the floor, adding 8 Points and 8 Rebounds on top of a tremendous defensive effort. Perhaps most surprisingly, he went 6 for 8 from the line.
Tonight was also the chance to get a lot at some players we don't normally see. Cole Aldrich provided 5 points, 2 of his buckets came of athletic moves towards the basket. This is a good sign if the Thunder want to eventually move Aldrich into the second team. On the other side of the spectrum, Reggie Jackson, 3 points, looked rushed at times, and forced up 2 shots in the first half.
The Thunder led by double digits for most of the game, until early in the fourth when Dallas went on a 17-0 run against the Thunder bench to bring it within six. Brian Cardinal provided a spark of the bench, with 3 steals and forcing a few more turnovers. but the Thunder began scoring again and starters from each side never returned.
Thunder Wonder: Kevin Durant, 21 Points, 5 Rebounds
Thunder Down Under: Kendrick Perkins, 8 Points, 8 Rebounds, 2 Blocks, 6 Free Throws Made
Thunder Blunder: Nazr Mohammed, 0 Points, 6 Rebounds, 3 Turnovers
Thunder Plunder: Dominique Jones 17 Points, 7 Assists, 3 Steals
Next Game: Versus the Dallas Mavericks, Tuesday December 20th, 7 PM Central Standard Time