Upon Further Review ... 'Dirk Made Tough Shots'

DALLAS -- The Thunder returned to work on Wednesday, but not before answering a series of questions about what it can do to stop -- or at least slow down -- Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki.

Nowitzki scored 48 points Tuesday night to lead the Mavericks to a 121-112 victory over the Thunder in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals. He was 24-for-24 from the line, an all-time NBA Playoffs high for consecutive makes, and was 12-for-15 from the field.

"He made tough shots," Thunder Head Coach Scott Brooks said. "We had a hand in his face, but he made his shots. The guy is an amazing player. He'll go down as one of the best ever to play the game."

Game 2 in the best-of-seven series is Thursday (8 p.m., ESPN) and no doubt Nowitzki is a popular subject as Brooks, his staff and the players review game film and make their adjustments. If the Thunder elects to double-team Nowitzki, it becomes vulnerable to the Mavericks' numerous 3-point shooters. If Brooks has Kevin Durant defend Nowitzki -- as he did early in Game 1 -- Durant risks getting into foul trouble.

"They're a good team. They put you in position where you have to make a decision and we made a decision to really stay at home with their shooters and it didn't work," Brooks said. "We gave up a lot of 30-point quarters and that's something that we pride ourselves on, not letting them score 30 in a quarter and we gave up three of them.

"We didn't play real well defensively, but they had a lot to do with that. Sometimes you just have to give the other guy credit. ... We could not stop what they were doing. But we're going to keep fighting and try to figure out a way to beat this team."

One area of concern is the impact Mavs guards Jason Terry and Jose Barea had on Game 1. The two reserves combined for 45 points and hit timely shots when the Thunder was clamping down for stops, especially in the fourth quarter. Barea scored 12 consecutive points at one critical stretch; even more disturbing to Brooks was how Barea did it: He had nine points by breaking down the defense with his dribble-and-drive game. "That shouldn't happen," Brooks said.

"There bench is really good. They basically have seven starters with J.J. (Barea) and Terry," Brooks said. "Our bench is good, too. Hopefully our team will have a good bounce-back game tomorrow."

Resiliency is a trademark of the Thunder. It is 4-0 in games after a loss in the playoffs and 22-6 for the season.

"This is a great opportunity for us," Brooks said.