Monday, February 4, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Thunder 112, Mavericks 91
By Tim MacMahon
How it happened: There was no threat of a third straight Mavericks-Thunder overtime game. This one was over by halftime.
Oklahoma City had a 68-44 lead after scoring the most points in any half by a Mavs opponent this season. The Thunder closed the half with a 46-22 run, if you can call a span of 14:08 a run.
The Thunder’s superstars performed like the All-NBA players they are before taking a seat to watch the fourth quarter. Three-time scoring leader Kevin Durant had 15 points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals in the first half, finishing with 19 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and two steals. Point guard Russell Westbrook had 17 of his 24 points and six of his seven assists in the first half.
Dirk Nowitzki, on the other hand, looked like a guy who lost his rhythm while missing the previous two games with a strained right adductor. Nowitzki had 10 points on 3-of-11 shooting.
Shawn Marion was the Mavs’ only consistent source of offense. His season-high 23 points on 10-of-14 shooting wasn’t nearly enough to keep this game competitive.
This was the Mavs' ninth loss by at least 20 points this season, breaking a tie with the Sacramento Kings for the most in the NBA.
What it means: The Mavs ended a four-game, eight-day road trip with a whimper. Dallas went 1-3 on the trip, losing two tight games and this blowout, to fall to 20-28 on the season. The Mavs are 5 ½ games out of eighth place in the Western Conference, with a playoff push looking further and further from reality. Oklahoma City improved to 36-12, 1 ½ games behind the San Antonio Spurs for the top spot in the West standings.
Play of the game: Oklahoma City sixth man Kevin Martin started the fast break with a steal and finished it with a two-hand flush of a lob pass from Westbrook. That broke a 22-22 tie, giving the Thunder the lead for good and sparking a 7-0 run to end the first quarter.
Stat of the night: The Mavs have lost 10 of 11 games against the Thunder, including last season’s first-round sweep, since beating Oklahoma City in the 2011 West finals.