If there is such a thing as momentum after 3 games in a best-of-7 series, the Dallas Mavericks proved tonight that it doesn't apply to them, simply because they took it and gave it back so many times that by the end of the game, no one knew who still had it. Probably the guys in stripes. The Mavs got the win though. It was a very nice win, too, one that wasn't stolen but earned.
Dirk had a horrible night shooting that wasn't aided by free throws. He made a couple of important baskets in the fourth quarter, and helped will the team to a win in Oklahoma.
However, I'm convinced that this game wasn't nearly as close as the box score would lead a fan to believe. The entire night, Oklahoma City was bailed out by the refs, and they punished Dallas at the free throw line. At one point, OKC had a 36-12 lead in FT attempts. Dallas overcame it though. The resilience that the Mavericks showed after getting shaken by the home team is typical of what fans of the team have seen during these playoffs. The Mavs now lead the series 2-1 going into Monday night's contest. It starts at 8 CST.
Dallas only forced 7 turnovers over the final 3 quarters after forcing 7 in the first.
The Mavericks let up on their defensive intensity in the second half as they lost the final two quarters to Oklahoma City.
Dallas was lucky that Westbrook didn't take it to the rim every time he touched the ball in the fourth quarter or else we would be cursing his name as much as we curse Wade's. They had no defense against the man, and what little defense they played was too tight for the refs. It took their breath away and put it in their whistles.
This was a really annoying game to watch.
The Mavs won on a night that Dirk wasn't doing many things well. He was 7-21 from the field, and had 7 turnovers. This is a team, and tonight they showed it. They need to continue to keep the pressure off of Dirk, and hurt the Thunder for shading second defenders his way.
Shawn Marion had a very nice game as he went 9-13 which was good for 18 points. He also added 2 steals. Many of his wild ass shots went in tonight. When they go in, we have no problem with him.
The bench outscored the Thunder's bench, 28-16.
The team, in all fairness, had a double digit lead for most of the game. In a game that they needed, they came out defensively aggressive in the first half which they turned into a sizable cushion.