(Correction: WTLC previously had reported the incorrect final score. The correct score is now reflected. We regret the error.)
After a tight first quarter, the Thunder won the second quarter 39-22 and went into halftime with a 24 point lead. OKC began the second half scoreless for the first few minutes, but Dallas was unable to cut into the lead. The Thunder expanded their lead to 30 in the third, and sat their starters for all of the fourth, in what was about as easy of a win as you'll get the NBA.
The Mavs were led by Shaw Marion with 23, and Jaw Crowder and Dirk Nowitzki with 10 each.
What is your initial reaction to tonight's result?
The Thunder have now won their last 9 against the Mavs dating back to last season's playoff series. The prior two meetings have gone to overtime following a buzzer beating 3 by the Mavs, but both time the Thunder pulled away in OT. I thought the Mavs might be due for a win against the Thunder, but tonight just shows how outmatched Dallas is against the Thunder team.
The Thunder improve to 11-1 on the year following a loss. I've spoken a bit on this in the past, but the ability to bounce back from a loss will be huge when the playoffs roll around.
What was, overall, the main reason why the Thunder won?
OKC was able to put up an impressive effort on both ends of the floor. Their perimeter defense and fast break/transition offense won the game tonight. The Mavs shot 18% from beyond the arc, and never managed to score more than 23 points in a quarter that mattered. Meanwhile, the Thunder shot 40% from 3, which was part of the 39 point second quarter where the Thunder pulled it away.
What was a key statistic to understanding the game?
The Thunder outscored the Mavs on fastbreak points 25-11, many of the Thunder's points came off turnovers. OKC Showcased their ability to get a turnover and then transition it into their fast paced offense. Very few teams have been able to keep up with the Thunder, and the Mavs simply weren't able to tonight.
Dallas started off the game shooting 11-15. After that point, Dallas shot only 16-52 through the next 3 quarters. The Mavs improved a bit in the fourth, but that was mainly garbage time for the b-team.
What does this game mean to the Thunder tonight and going forward?
The Thunder will now host the Golden State Warriors. The Warriors put away the Thunder last time these two teams met in a surprise upset.
Thunder Wonder: Russell Westbrook, 24 points, 7 assists.
Thunder Down Under: Serge Ibaka, 12 points, 5 rebounds.
Thunder Blunder: none
Thunder Plunderer: Shawn Marion 23 points, 3 steals, 2 blocks.
Next game: vs. Golden State Warriors, on Wednesday Feb. 6th @ 7 CDT
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