The Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the Dallas Mavericks on the road, 131-102. The Thunder offense, after struggling mightily for most of game 2, exploded for 70 points in the middle 2 quarters of the game, turning a meager 6 point lead into a 19 point cushion that was sturdy enough to deal with any final push that the Mavs might have had. Even so, with the Thunder leading big heading into the 4th, the memory of their late game struggles is never far off. But the Thunder finished well, scoring 34 in the final quarter and taking a 2-1 series lead.
Kevin Durant, the topic of much consternation and strife for the Thunder faithful over the past 3 days, regained some of his shooting touch and the results that we have come to expect. He finished with 34 points on 11-25 shooting, including 9-11 from the free throw line, to go along with 7 points and 3 assists. Meanwhile, KD's running mate and the personal nemesis of Charlie "Footloose Dad" Villanueva, Russell Westbrook finished the game with an abominable zero rebounds on the night (but did contribute with 26 and 15 with two steals and a block).
The Mavericks once again made it a game longer than anyone expected, shooting 47.4% from the floor and got a solid combined 34 points from Dirk Nowitzki and Ray Felton off of 15-27 shooting, while J.J. Barea made his presence felt by chipping in 15-7 after missing last game due to injury. However, the Mavericks offense simply could not keep pace with the resurgence of the Thunder's scoring binges, as Serge Ibaka, Enes Kanter, and Dion Waiters all shot the ball well to combine for 56 points on 20-27 shooting.
The Thunder have earned back home court advantage and are now two games away from winning the series. The work is not yet done, but game 3 was a push in the proper direction.
I actually have a ton of respect for Felton in this series; I never thought he'd come up as big as he has, but this is kind of funny how his forearm shiver bounces off Steven Adams as if Adams was Ironman.
Game 4 is scheduled for Saturday, April 23rd, at 7PM CDT.