Rapid Reaction: Thunder 106, Mavs 92
December, 18, 2011
By Jeff Caplan | ESPNDallas.com
DALLAS -- The Oklahoma City Thunder outscored the Mavericks, 65-46 in the middle two quarters and led 90-70 after three quarters. With mostly subs running the floor in the fourth, Dallas closed the gap to six a couple of times before falling by 14 in the first of two preseason games against the Thunder.
Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd suited up but did not play. And Jason Terry played just nine minutes. This game was for the Mavs' kids and to get new high-profile additions Vince Carter and Lamar Odom time in the system. The Thunder, meanwhile, went with their usual starting five and were led by Kevin Durant's 21 points on just 4-of-5 shooting. He was 13-of-14 from the free throw line.
Rodrigue Beaubois and Dominique Jones had the standout performances for the Mavs, with both youngsters playing together for much of the time. Both finished with 17 points. Jones added seven assists and couple of rebounds in 28 minutes. Beaubois was 3-of-6 from beyond the arc.
Dallas started Delonte West (five points, 1-of-7 shooting, five assists), Carter (nine points, 4-of-11 shooting), Shawn Marion (six points, six rebounds), Odom (14 points, seven rebounds) and Brendan Haywood (four points, five rebounds). All the starters logged between 20 and 23 minutes, mostly all in the first three quarters.
After three, the Thunder shot 62.5 percent overall and 60 percent (9-of-15) from beyond the arc. Miss Tyson Chandler's defense, anyone?
OK, that's not a fair question considering Nowitzki and Kidd sat out and the Mavs played lineups that will likely never see the light of day during the regular season.
Tuesday's game at OKC should provide a better look at an actual starting lineup and perhaps some form to a rotation, although even that will likely come as the 66-game schedule begins to unfold starting Christmas Day.