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Monday, May 16, 2011
Jason Terry wants entire Thunder bench

By Jeff Caplan



DALLAS -- Jason Terry outperformed the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year, Lamar Odom, last series. Now he goes up against "The Beard," Oklahoma City Thunder second-year sixth man James Harden.

But Terry, never one to think small or keep his thoughts to himself, is thinking big picture and talking about it.

"I’m trying to outperform their entire bench," Terry said after Monday's practice. "That’s what I do."

Surely, Harden and other Thunder reserves such as guard Eric Maynor and forward Nick Collison will find that interesting.

"Whichever bench comes to play and outplays the other one," Terry said, "the other team has the advantage."

The Mavericks' bench was among the highest-scoring in the league all season and that hasn't changed in the playoffs. Dallas mopped up L.A. to the tune of 198-89 in bench points, clobbering the Lakers 86-37 in the series-clinching Game 4. In fact, the Mavs' bench, boosted considerably when Terry and Peja Stojakovic are draining the 3-ball and J.J. Barea is penetrating, equaled the Lakers' total scoring output in the final game.

Terry is the Mavs' second-leading scorer at 18.3 points a game. Harden is the Thunder's third-leading scorer, averaging 12.4 points game. Terry said Harden reminds him of a recent foe.

"James Harden reminds me a lot of [Portland's] Wes Matthews the way they impact the game," Terry said. "They can get hot from 3, they're always looking to be on the attack."

There is one obvious difference: The thick beard that wraps around Harden's face and jets -- no pun intended -- several feet, or maybe an inch or two, out from his chin. It would seem rather effective in keeping defenders at least a beard's distance away.

"I'll get as close as I can," Terry said.