W. Bennett Barry
The Thunder need overtime to overtake the Mavericks, 111-105
Kevin Durant had 40 points, commanding the Oklahoma City Thunder to an overtime victory over the Dallas Mavericks 111-105.
The Thunder snap their 2 game winning streak due to the 3-time scoring champ taking over last in the third. The Mavericks had a comfortable lead for much of the first half, but the Thunder were able to cut it to 2 at the half. OKC didn't take the lead until the final minute of regulation. In fact, the Thunder's largest lead, was by 6 at the final horn.
Darren Collison led the Mavericks with 32 points, including a wild 3-point as time expired to send the game into overtime. Dirk Nowitzki, in his second game back from injury, had 9 points on 3-11 shooing.
What is your initial reaction to tonight's result?
I expected the Thunder to come out with a little bit of fire after losing the previous 2 games. Instead the Thunder came out flat and gave up an early lead and couldn't even it up until a couple of free throws after a rare clear path foul early in the third. It took the Thunder until the final minutes of regulation, and Durant taking control of the ballgame, to finally take a lead, and seemed to have the victory in hand until a fluke shot by Darren Collison as time expired.
Russell Westbrook looked downright awful this game. He shot 4-16 from the field, seemed careless with his shot selection and overly aggressive on defense. Despite all this, he was able to come up with key plays in the final minutes and overtime. Half of Westbrooks 16 points came in the overtime period, and seemingly pushed the Thunder over the top.
What was, overall, the main reason why the Thunder won?
The Thunder looked as if they would come up short in their third straight night until Kevin Durant took over in the fourth. If you skipped past the video above I urge you to go back up and watch. In what might be the play of the year, Kevin single handedly, blocks, rebounds, transitions, and dunks on the Mavericks.
What was a key statistic to understanding the game?
A few stats seem to stand off the page for me, the Thunder were about to out-rebound the Mavs 56-46, with much of the advantage coming in the final minutes of overtime. One of the easiest ways to overcome poor play is to out rebound the other team and allow yourself more possessions than the other team.
Sefolosha was able to hold OJ Mayo to only 4 points. Mayo has been the Mavericks leading scorer while Dirk has been gone, but was held to 1-7 thanks the Thabo's defense.
What does this game mean to the Thunder tonight and going forward?
The Thunder head to Houston to face Rockets on Saturday. It took the threat of losing 3 in a row to motivate the Thunder tonight, let's hope they carry that over into Saturday's matchup.
|Final - 12.27.2012||1||2||3||4||OT 1||Total|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||21||22||30||25||13||111|
Thunder Wonder: Kevin Durant, 40 points, 8 rebounds.
Thunder Down Under: Serge Ibaka, 19 points, 17 rebounds, 5 blocks.
Thunder Blunder: Russell Westbrook, 7-20 FG.
Thunder Plunderer: Darren Collison, 32 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists.
Next game: @ Houston Rockets, on Sat. Dec 29th @ 7 CDT
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