Preseason Recap: Thunder 106, Mavericks 92
DALLAS – Before the Thunder left for Dallas on Saturday, Head Coach Scott Brooks covered a number of topics about the preseason opener that would take place a little more than 24 hours later.
"Guys aren't going to play heavy minutes,” he said, “but I want them to play their minutes very hard. … If the game is close at the end, definitely we want to win.”
Fifteen players saw action, 13 scored and the Thunder took control of the game in the final 3:21 of play to defeat the Dallas Mavericks, 106-92, on Sunday night in the preseason opener for both teams. The two teams will meet again at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Six Thunder players logged at least 20 minutes, led by guard Thabo Sefolosha (24:32), and five played in the mid- to high-teens.
While forward Kevin Durant led the Thunder with 21 points – a total he reached despite taking only five shots from the field (he was 13-for-14 from the line) – it was the play of his teammates that ultimately secured the win, especially on the defensive end. The Thunder limited the Mavericks to 38.0 percent shooting from the field; the Thunder shot 56.4 percent.
"Our defense was pretty good," Durant said. "We were making our rotations, helping each other out, and we got to the free-throw line."
Reserve guard Eric Maynor hit two jump shots, including a 3-pointer, in the final five minutes of the game to quiet a furious Mavericks rally. The Thunder led 90-70 entering the final 12 minutes of play, but Dallas opened the final quarter with a 14-0 run and trailed only 93-88 with 5:04 to play. The Thunder defense would surrender just four points the rest of the way.
"Like I told the guys, our effort was good and our thoughts were in the right place," Brooks told The Oklahoman. "Overall, I'm happy and pleased with what we did tonight.”
A FEW NUMBERS TO CALL OUT:
- 1: Thunder wins in the preseason.
- 3: Charges drawn by forward Nick Collison.
- 4: 3-pointers made by guard Daequan Cook on six attempts.
- 13: Free throws made by Kevin Durant on 14 attempts.
- 15: Thunder players who logged minutes vs. Mavs.
- 38.0: Field goal percentage of the Mavs; the Thunder shot 56.4.
- 45: Rebounds by the Thunder; the Mavs had 33.
- 47.6: 3-point shooting percent by the Thunder.
-- Ron Matthews | THUNDER.NBA.COM