Regular Season Recap: Thunder at Mavericks

THUNDER 87

MAVERICKS 100
0 Unbeaten teams in the NBA.

3 Steals by Russell Westbrook.

4 Thunder players with double-digit scoring totals.

5 Shots blocked by the Thunder.

6 Steals by the Thunder.

7 Ties in the game.

12 Thunder players to log minutes.

28 Fast-break points by the Thunder.

The Thunder returns to action Tuesday night when it takes on the Portland Trail Blazers in a Northwest Division match-up in Chesapeake Energy Arena. It is the first of four meetings between the teams.

Game time is 7 p.m. and will air live on Fox Sports Oklahoma and the Thunder Radio Network.

GAME IN REVIEW

RECAP:
There were two staples in the Thunder’s 5-0 start to the season – an aggressive defense that limited opponents to 40.6 percent shooting and a bench that dictated the pace and dominated opponents.

Neither of those happened Monday night in Dallas. The Mavericks shot 48.8 percent from the field and had a 47-25 edge in bench scoring in handing the Thunder its first loss of the season, a 100-87 decision in the American Airlines Center.

“I thought they played much better than us throughout the game,” Thunder Head Coach Scott Brooks said. “We were fighting and competing, but it wasn’t our night. … I thought that second quarter, when they scored 34 points, that was the difference.”

The Mavericks turned a 20-20 lead after the first quarter into a 54-47 lead at the half. It would have been worse had Thunder guard James Harden not drilled a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

“There is nothing to be ashamed of losing in this league if you play hard and we played hard,” Brooks said, adding: “They’re a good team. They’re the defending champs. I know they haven’t had the start they wanted, but they’re a good team. You knew sooner or later Dallas was going to play good basketball. They have too many good players and they’re well coached.”

The Thunder does not have much time to dwell on this loss. The Thunder plays the Portland Trail Blazers in a 7 p.m. match-up Tuesday in Chesapeake Energy Arena.

PLAYS THE BOXSCORE WON’T SHOW, FIRST HALF:
Kevin Durant feeds Kendrick Perkins deep in the lane with a nice bounce pass. Perkins is fouled and converts both free throws … Durant sprinting back on defense to force Shawn Marion to alter and miss his shot on a clear break to the basket. It leads to an easy Russell Westbrook basket at the other end. … Perkins gets his hands in the passing lane and Westbrook comes up with the loose ball. He immediately starts a fast break that ends with a Durant alley-oop dunk. … Nick Collison, setting a screen up top, dropping down and receiving a pass from Eric Maynor. Collison immediately drops a backdoor pass to Serge Ibaka for an easy dunk. … Lazar Hayward showing his defensive reputation and knocking the ball out of the hands of Lamar Odom. … Ibaka keeping a defensive rebound alive by tapping it to Westbrook to trigger a fast break. … Perkins uses a quick drop-step reverse to go up and under the Mavs’ Ian Mahinmi.. … Perkins feeding Westbrook with a overhand pass for a vicious dunk. … Harden, getting Marion to leave his feet, and drilling a 3-pointer at the buzzer to make it 54-47.

PLAYS THE BOXSCORE WON’T SHOW, SECOND HALF:
Harden stepping in front of a Jason Kidd pass, racing the length of the court for a basket and a chance at a 3-point play. His free throw cuts the lead to 68-59. … Harden draws a charge on the 6-foot-11, 230-pound Mahinmi and Thunder scores on other end, part of an 8-0 run. … With Thunder down nine, Perkins meets Mahinmi at the rim and denies the dunk. … Ibaka follows Westbrook to the hoop and is there for a put-back dunk. … Harden lofting an alley-oop pass to Durant on one end, and coming up with a steal and breakout dunk on the next play to make it 89-79. … Coming out of a Dallas timeout, Westbrook steals the ball from Kidd and lays it in. … Thunder forces a back-court violation and Mavs turn it over.