Now that the NBA All-Star Weekend ended, the Dallas Mavericks‘ push for a top Western Conference seed began Thursday night with a much anticipated match-up against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Unfortunately, the Mavericks couldn’t get the job done, falling on the road 104-89. With the win, the Thunder move in to a tie for the eighth and final spot with the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference playoff race.
From the moment the game tipped off, the Mavericks struggled from the offensive side of the ball. Dallas recorded their lowest field goal percentage of the season, going 29% from the field. For a team that shoots about 35% from the three-point line, the Mavs also shot a measly 21% behind the arc. The Mavericks also got dominated on the glass throughout the ball game, getting out-rebounded 62-39. Serge Ibaka was responsible for a large part of that discrepancy.
[otw_shortcode_quote border_style=”bordered” color=”#0b0770″]“I feel like for us, we’ve got to walk away with games feeling good about them, win or loss, and I don’t feel good about this loss.” – Tyson Chandler [/otw_shortcode_quote]
Trailing by 16 coming out of halftime, the Mavs looked to improve their shooting woes. But in the 3rd quarter, the momentum was in Oklahoma City’s favor, thanks to 13 points in that quarter from the 2015 NBA All-Star game MVP, Russell Westbrook. Westbrook finished with a phenomenal 34 points (14 of 14 from the free throw line), 5 rebounds, and 10 assists. Dallas started the fourth quarter with a 8-2 run to help cut the deficit to 10 points. Russell Westbrook responded with eight more points in a two-minute stretch late in the fourth quarter, sealing the deal for an Thunder victory.
[otw_shortcode_quote border_style=”bordered” color=”#0a0770″]“We started arguing a little bit too much with ourselves instead of just playing and competing. Coming out of the break, sometimes, it’s tough. I just felt like we were just sloppy.” – Dirk Nowitzki [/otw_shortcode_quote]
Five Mavericks ended the night in double figures. Big man Tyson Chandler recorded his 25th double-double of the season with 10 points and 13 rebounds.
The Mavericks will have to brush this loss off quickly, as they return home to face James Harden and the Houston Rockets tonight at the American Airlines Center.
Photo Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports / Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images
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