WOW! Where do I even begin? This game was so intense and entertaining, I'll admit, this probably won't be the best game recap in the world, because I'm completely wore out and exhausted just from watching this game. Yeah, it was that good. Before we jump into the game, I guess I had better get to that headline for those of you who clicked a link because you want to know what happened to Durant. He left the game early in the first half, after coming down awkwardly on his ankle. It occured just before a collision at the other end of the court before play was stopped. He immediately hobbled over to the bench, and it wasn't long before he hobbled straight out of the arena...to the HOME side of the locker room. Which means it was serious enough for X-Rays. We were kept in suspense nearly the entire rest of the first half before they announced that there were no fractures, and he was going to be listed as day-to-day with a sprained ankle. So now that we have that out of the way, lets get back to the game.
Geez, what can you say? The Thunder struggled early, and found themselves in a usual hole to start the game. To their credit, they battled back the entire rest of the first quarter, and finished trailing by just 2 points. They followed that effort with another solid quarter, one in which they played really great defense against a good scoring team, and headed into the locker room trailing by 5 points, 43-48.
It was the 3rd quarter, however, that the Thunder really took control, and dominated the game on both ends of the floor. The Thunder D had arguably, or maybe, easily, their best defensive quarter of the season as they held a high scoring Maverick offense to just 16 points. They turned a 5 point deficit into a 5 point lead heading into the final period.
Things continued to go well early in the 4th for the Thunder as they increased the lead to 12 points. The rest of the quarter was a bit of a different story, as the Thunder fell into a drought that just seemed to never end. I think the Mavericks went on something like a 16 point run, and even took the lead after trailing by as much as 12 points earlier in the 4th.
To the Thunder players credit though, they never gave up, even having blown a big lead. Being down by what seemed like too many points to have a chance, the Thunder came back to force overtime. Coming off a missed free throw that left the Thunder down three, with the clock ticking down, Krstic got the board and found an open Russell Westbrook, who was begging for the ball, and he drained the 3 to tie the game. A truly unbelievable set of circumstances. The Mavericks still had plenty of time to get a bucket and close out the game, but the Thunder defense held strong, not once, but twice as the clock ticked down to zero.
In overtime, it was all Jason Kidd, which was a bit of a surprise considering the guy scored an eye popping zero points all game before hand. The Mavs drained 3/6 buckets from downtown, after shooting just 1 for 15 from 3 all night long, and in the end, was just too much for the Thunder to catch. Thabo Sefolosha put in a meaningless bucket as time expired to make it a 2 point game, instead of 4.
All in all, despite the loss, if you watched the game, you were undoubtedly impressed with the way our boys responded to not having Kevin Durant out there on the court. They fought, they played D, they hit big shots, they did everything a team has to do to win when their star player goes down....everything that is except, do what they have been unable to do, a considerable amount of the time, even when Durant is playing. Finish out the win.
Heartbreaking loss, Unbelieveable effort.