The Mavericks took a trip up I35 Sunday night to take on the Oklahoma City Thunder. They were looking to rebound after a tough, hard fought loss at the hands of Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Oklahoma City came into the game with an underwhelming record of 5 wins and 7 losses. As they have struggled to incorporate their two big off season acquisitions Paul George and Carmelo Anthony into the lineup successfully. However, Anthony would be ruled out shortly before tip off with a sore back, leaving the offense to run through only Westbrook and George.
As one might expect from a team struggling with chemistry issues, and a lowly Mavericks squad, the first half was ugly. Neither team could eclipse the 45 point benchmark in the 1st two quarters, and the two teams combined for 20 plus turnovers. The Mavericks went into the half shooting 39%, while Oklahoma City shot a more respectable 44% after an ugly 29% first quarter. They would play to a stalemate, with OKC taking a 44-42 lead into the half.
The Thunder would really flex their muscles in the third period. After struggling through the first half, Westbrook and George found their rhythm. They each scored sixteen in the third, punctuated by a sequence with back to back threes to push the Thunder lead to 69-56. Harrison Barnes and Dennis Smith did their best to keep the Mavericks afloat, but the Thunder’s dynamic duo was just too much. They would help propel OKC to an 83-67 lead moving into the fourth quarter.
A Jerami Grant bucket, and Paul George three right out of the gate in the final frame would put the Thunder up 21. And for all intents and purposes, the game was over. The Mavericks would attempt to make it interesting again, thanks to some tough shot making by Yogi Ferrell and Harrison Barnes, but just didn’t have enough as the lead never got down to single digits.
Oklahoma City would cruise to a 112-99 victory. They earned their sixth win of the year, and handed the Mavericks their league leading 12th loss. The Thunder will travel to San Antonio on Friday to take on the Spurs. And the Mavericks will host those same Spurs in their next outing, Tuesday night at the American Airlines Center.
-Harrison Barnes secured his second consecutive double double, with 22 points and 13 rebounds. It’s his third of the season. He only had 3 last year.
-Paul George scored 42 points in Oklahoma City’s win against the Clippers on Friday. He would follow that up by scoring 37 against the Mavericks in Carmelo Anthonys absence.
–Nerlens Noel checked in for the final two minutes of the game with the Mavericks trailing by 16. He was a DNP-CD in the Saturday loss to the Cavs.
-Thunder big man Steven Adams was out with a calf injury.
-Russell Westbrook turned 29 years old.
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