W. Bennett Berry
Durant and Westbrook combine for 83 as the Thunder squeaks past the Mavs.
The Thunder led for much of the game, but the Mavs made a run midway through the fourth, and took the lead with 6:40 left in the game. The Thunder took back the lead and led by 3 in the final seconds of the fourth quarter when the Mavs executed an amazing inbounds play to tie the game and send it into overtime.
The situation repeated itself in overtime, with OKC up by 3 with 2.7 seconds left, but the Mavs were able to get a good shot and the Thunder walked away with their 6th straight victory.
What is your initial reaction to tonight's result?
The Mavericks have always been a good measuring stick for the Thunder. Two years ago, the Thunder lost to Dallas in the Western Conference Finals. Last year, they swept the Mavs out of the first round. Tonight was our first chance to see the Mavs this season with Dirk back int the line-up.
Although it was disappoint to see the Thunder give up the late the game, they were able to fight through it against a veteran team on seal a victory on the road.
What was, overall, the main reason why the Thunder won?
Dirk Nowitzki was held to a pitiful 5-19 shooting tonight. The Mavs have consistently been a one man team, and when that one man fails to shoot well, it's hard to win games. It's no coincidence that when Dirk's shots finally started falling, the Mavs crept back into the game to force overtime.
What was a key statistic to understanding the game?
Kevin Durant went a perfect 21-21 from the free throw line. About midway through the third KD began to go on a cold streak, and after starting the game going 8-12, he followed it up with a 2-11 shooting, and missed 8 straight shots. However, KD was still able to get to the line consistantly and stopped the bleeding on the Thunder's cold streak.
What does this game mean to the Thunder tonight and going forward?
The Thunder stay atop the west and go on to face Denver in game 2 of this 6 game road trip. The Thunder were able to easily put away the Nuggets on Wednesday, let's hope they can do it again and extend the win streak to 7.
Thunder Wonder: Kevin Durant, 52 points, 9 rebounds, 21-21 FTs.
Thunder Down Under: Serge Ibaka, 11 points, 14 rebounds.
Thunder Blunder: Thabo Sefolosha, 0 points, 0-4 FGs/
Thunder Plunderer: Vince Carter, 29 points.
Next game: @Denver Nuggets, on Sunday Jan. 20th @ 7 CDT
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