The Thunder were reeling after a crushing defeat on Monday at the hands of the Clippers and needed a good showing against the Mavericks on Wednesday. After an opening quarter where the defense looked as porous as in the beginning of Monday's game, the Thunder finally started to bear down defensively. Between the duo of Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins, the lane began to close off for Maverick players. Accompanied by Kevin Durant and his 13 defensive rebounds, the Thunder transformed the complexion of the game by protecting the rim and limiting second chance scoring opportunities.
Even with the intensified defensive play, the Thunder still needed to revisit their Achilles Heel - the last five minutes of the game. At least on this one night, the Thunder exorcised some of the demons from last year's playoff run. Instead of folding under the pressure of the champs on their home court, the Thunder outscored the Mavericks 10-1 over the final two minutes of the game.