Same story, different night. Although he didn’t mean story.
The only thing that changed was this time the Mavericks lost, as opposed to winning their last time out against Minnesota. But it was another big hole, and a big hole late in the game that the team valiantly tried to climb out of to force their fifth straight Overtime game at the American Airlines Center.
That would have bode well for the Mavericks, as they’re 3-1 in their last four home games, again all concluding in extra time.
The Oklahoma City Thunder led by 15 points –95 to 80– with just 7:58 to go in the game. Then Salah Mejri came in.
In eight minutes (7:58 as noted above) the 29-year old rookie Tunisian had five points, was +12 and had an insane block against a former MVP Kevin Durant. He also went 3-4 from the free throw line, trailing only Chandler Parsons (6-6; his best performance of the season) in production at the charity stripe.
Following the massive block, Dirk Nowitzki had a chance to hit a three that would have sent the frenzy at the American Airlines Center into full-on chaos.
Dirk missed another three with just seconds remaining. Left wide, wide open adjacent to the top of the key Nowitzki put the shot way left and the Mavericks fell by three.
Remember that movie? Anakin plays a journalist? You know, the thing I want to be. Well anyway the Thunder had 17 offensive rebounds. They average 12.5 a game, second in the NBA behind Detroit’s 13.8. Nick Collison had 6 offensive rebounds. The Mavericks had 7.
That Darn 3-Ball
Dirk was 2-8 from downtown, Wesley Matthews 1-7 and the team 10-33 for 30.3%. At least the Thunder (8-30) weren’t making any, either.Kevin Durant was 2-8 and Russell Westbrook missed all four of his three point tries.
109-106 is a high scoring game. Not very, but still high scoring. However, compared to the Mavericks and Thunder’s recent outings, this was a very mild night.
Excluding last Wednesday night when the Mavs sat all five starters, Dallas and OKC had combined for 731 points (244 PPG) in their last three meetings.
Final Score: Thunder 109(33-12, 3rd in West), Mavericks 106(25-20, 6th in West)
Mavericks: Chandler Parsons, 26
Thunder: Kevin Durant, 24
Mavericks: Zaza Pachulia, 8
Thunder: Nick Collison, 11
Mavericks: Deron Williams, Zaza Pachulia, 5
Thunder: Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, 7
Mavericks: Deron Williams, 5 (season high)
Thunder: Russell Westbrook, 2
Mavericks: Dirk Nowitzki, Salah Mejri, 2
Thunder: Kevin Durant, 2
Mavericks: Salah Mejri, Raymond Felton, +12
Thunder: Enes Kanter, +13
Next Game: Sunday at Houston Rockets (23-22), 2:30 P.M.