Notebook: Thunder 111, Mavericks 105, OT



Posted Dec 28, 2012 12:36 AM

By Randy Renner, For NBA.com

THE FACTS: The Oklahoma City Thunder trailed most of the game, rallied late then held on in overtime for a thrilling 111-105 win over the rival Dallas Mavericks Thursday night.

Thunder forward Kevin Durant led all scorers with 40 points, but was shut out in the overtime period going 0-for-3. His running mate, point guard Russell Westbrook, took over in the final five minutes, scoring eight points on 3-for-4 shooting and finishing with 16 on the night for OKC (22-6).

Mavericks point guard Darren Collison, a surprise starter, led Dallas (12-17) with a season-high 32 points including a desperation, fall-away 3-pointer at the buzzer that sent the game into overtime. Chris Kaman added 17 points and Shawn Marion dropped in 14 for Dallas. Dirk Nowizki, playing his second game since returning from offseason knee surgery, had nine points and six rebounds.

Durant also grabbed eight rebounds, handed out five assists and blocked three shots. Thunder forward Serge Ibaka had a huge game with 19 points, 17 rebounds (eight off the offensive glass) and five blocks. The Thunder blocked a total of 13 shots. Kevin Martin added 18 points and seven rebounds.

The Mavericks led by as many as 11 points and the Thunder's biggest lead was the final margin of six.

QUOTABLE: "That was a heck of a game. Both teams played with maximum effort, but obviously we have some things to work on as a team. But, individually, I thought Serge was phenomenal."

--Thunder coach Scott Brooks

THE STAT: After allowing the Mavericks to score 36 points in the third quarter the Thunder buckled down on defense in the fourth quarter and in overtime. Dallas scored just 24 points in the final 17 minutes.

TURNING POINT: The Thunder seemed to be searching for a spark all night long to get them going, and it came from an unlikely source in Mavs star Nowitzki. With Dallas leading 93-87 with 4:11 left to play, Mavs guard O.J. Mayo was bringing the ball up the court after rebounding a Durant miss. Nowitzki came up behind him and ran into him. He knocked the ball away and into the hands of Westbrook, who streaked down court and dished to Durant for a dunk that brought the crowd to its feet. That started a 9-2 OKC run to put the Thunder ahead.

QUOTABLE II: "They made some plays and we made some mistakes, but we were still right there. When we needed one stop, we couldn't get it. When we needed one rebound, we couldn't get it. When we just needed one score we couldn't get it and that's the way this league is, it's tough."

--Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle

HOT: Ibaka was 6-for-7 in the first half. ... Durant was 3-for-6 on 3-pointers in the second half. ... OKC was 9-for-15 on 3-pointers in the second half

NOT: The Mavs shot just 37.5 percent (18-for-48) in the first half. ... Nowitzki was 1-for-7 (two points), Carter 1-for-6 (three points) and Marion 2-for-7 (four points) in the first 24 minutes. ... Westbrook was 2-for-9 (four points) in the first half. ... Mayo was 1-for-5 in the second half. ... Dallas shot 33.3 percent in the overtime and the Mavs were 0-for-3 from long range.

INSIDE THE ARENA: The 84th-straight sellout crowd inside Chesapeake Energy Arena was as loud as any time this season in the closing minutes of the game.

QUOTABLE III: "Our fans are always great but they were special tonight. They helped us when we really needed it."

-- Scott Brooks

GOOD MOVE: Carlisle couldn't decide till the very last minute who would start at point guard for the Mavs and, even after he decided, he changed his mind again. Carlisle listed Dominique Jones on his official starting lineup but then scratched Jones about 10 minutes before tip-off ,deciding to go with Collison instead. He responded by shooting 71.4 percent (5-for-7) in the first quarter and scoring 14 points to lead all scorers. By the middle of the third quarter, Collison had 25 points on 10-for-15 shooting and by game's end he'd finished with a season high 32 points.

QUOTABLE IV: "Collison was terrific; really tremendous on both ends. The way he played tonight is what we need from him."

-- Rick Carlisle

BAD MOVE: Oklahoma City has been one of the best teams in the NBA at defending the 3-point shot, but tonight the Thunder had loads of trouble closing out on Mav shooters (Dallas was 11-for-21 on 3-pointers in regulation) and they seemed to get confused at times on defensive rotations. Thunder players also spent way too much time arguing non-calls with the officials, usually leading to a 5-on-4 Dallas fastbreak.

NOTABLE: Over his last four games, Durant is averaging 36.8 points on 53.8 percent shooting. ... OKC is now 6-0 when Durant scores 35 or more.

UP NEXT: For the Mavericks, Friday vs. Denver, Sunday vs. San Antonio, Tuesday @ Washington. For the Thunder, Saturday @ Houston, Monday vs. Phoenix, Wednesday vs. Brooklyn.