The Dallas Mavericks, fresh off a healthy pummeling of the Los Angeles Lakers last night, were on the receiving end of such treatment tonight, losing to a dynamic Oklahoma City Thunder team led by scoring champ Kevin Durant and the very, very healthy-looking Russell Westbrook.
Westbrook punched in 22 points and Durant added 23 of his own, as the pair electrified their home crowd with a highlight-reel quality offensive attack. Dallas, try as they might, simply could not match the firepower of their opponent. Monta Ellis contributed 20 points in an effort to match Westbrook drive for drive. Shawn Marion and Jae Crowder had 17 points apiece, and were the most efficient Mavs on the floor.
Dallas did manage to keep things close in the first half, thanks to a 60% performance from behind the three-point line, but in the second half they simply could not keep shooting well enough to overcome the bugaboo of the night: turnovers. The Mavericks finished with 21 giveaways, including 7 by the aggressive but occasionally out of control Monta Ellis. These turnovers were doubly costly as they not only took scoring chances off the table for Dallas, but all too often helped ignite the blistering Thunder fast break, and directly accounted for 23 of the Thunder's 27 fast break points.
The Mavs will get a rest day tomorrow(or today, depending on your time zone), but their defense will quickly be put to the test again Friday, as the team travels to Minnesota to take on the Timberwolves and another potent scoring lineup.