Notebook: Thunder 107, Mavericks 101



Posted Mar 17, 2013 11:06 PM

Dave Ivey, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: The Oklahoma City Thunder's superstars delivered. The Dallas Mavericks didn't give their star a chance. Russell Westbrook scored 35 points and Kevin Durant scored 19 of his 31 points in the fourth quarter Sunday as the Thunder closed out a 107-101 road victory against the Mavericks and Dirk Nowitzki, who scored 23 but didn't attempt a field goal in the fourth.

It was Oklahoma City's 10th straight victory against Dallas (31-35), including a sweep in last season's playoffs, and gave the Thunder (50-17) their third 50-win campaign in four years. Oklahoma City scored the final six points of the game, a back-and-forth battle that featured 15 lead changes, nine ties and no lead greater than seven points for either side. The Thunder have won eight of their last nine.

Westbrook scored 14 points in the first quarter and 15 in the third. Durant, who scored a career-high 52 points in his last trip to Dallas on Jan. 18, also had nine rebounds. Serge Ibaka tallied 18 points, 16 boards and three blocks. Vince Carter scored 18 off the bench and Mike James added a season-high 14 for the Mavericks, who were outrebounded by 12.

QUOTABLE: "We had a run, they had a run, we had a run ... it kept going back and forth and neither team gave up. I'm just glad we had the last run."

-- Thunder coach Scott Brooks

THE STAT: The Mavericks used their 21st different starting lineup. By comparison, the Thunder started the same five for the 64th time in 67 games.

TURNING POINT: Nowitzki's two free throws with 1:20 left knotted it at 101-101, but Westbrook answered with a pull-up 17-footer. OKC then put the clamps on Dallas, with James having to force a drive with the shot clock winding down and getting stuffed by Durant. The Mavs answered with solid defense of their own, forcing Thabo Sefolosha to shoot. Sefolosha came through with a spinning, fadeaway dagger from 13 feet with 12.5 seconds left, just his second bucket of the game.

HOT: Nowitzki sank his first eight field-goal attempts, including three 3-pointers. ... The Mavericks were 16-for-16 at the free-throw line (10-for-10 in the fourth quarter). ... Westbrook and Durant were both 9-for-9 at the stripe. Durant is 30-for-30 in his last two games in Dallas.

NOT: Oklahoma City missed 11 of its first 12 attempts from beyond the arc.

BAD MOVE: Even though Nowitzki was 8-for-10 entering the fourth and had scored eight points in the third quarter, he was limited to four free throws in the final period. The Mavericks took 15 shots in the quarter, three each by James, Brandan Wright and Darren Collison and four by Carter, but none by Nowitzki. Some credit goes to the Thunder defense, but too many possessions went by without the 11-time All-Star being involved in the offense.

QUOTABLE II: "We didn't do a good job. I take responsibility for it. A few times they fouled him before he could get a shot off. ... When they get into all of that switching and denying, sometimes other guys have got to step up and make plays. We weren't able to make plays."

-- Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle on Nowitzki not getting any fourth-quarter shots

ROOKIE WATCH: Dallas forward Jae Crowder had a rough night, finishing 1-for-5 from 3-point range with two costly turnovers. Defensively, he got lost on two consecutive backdoor layups by Kevin Martin in the second quarter.

NOTABLE: Mavericks forward Shawn Marion (left calf strain) missed his sixth consecutive game and Thunder center Hasheem Thabeet (sore lower back) missed his second straight. ... Oklahoma City guard Derek Fisher started nine games for Dallas in December. ... With his steal in the first quarter, Nowitzki passed Jason Kidd (954) for second place in franchise history behind Derek Harper (1,551). ... Dallas guard Rodrigue Beaubois is out indefinitely after fracturing a bone in his left hand (second metacarpal) in the second quarter. He scored a team-high 18 points in Friday's win vs. Cleveland and was averaging 4.1 points and 12.3 minutes per game.

UP NEXT: For the Mavericks, Monday @ Atlanta, Wednesday vs. Brooklyn, Friday vs. Boston. For the Thunder, Tuesday vs. Denver, Wednesday @ Memphis, Friday @ Orlando.