The Mavericks had played the Thunder very close in two match-ups this year. This game was about as close as Earth is to the Andromeda Galaxy (that's a real thing, right?). This game was about as close as Pinocchio's nose is to his face. This game was not close in the slightest.
Even with Dirk coming back, there really isn't much to talk about. The Mavericks hit six straight shots early in the first and held the lead momentarily at 18-16. The bench came in, and the quarter ended 29-16 in OKC's favor. Mike James was a big downer, getting pick pocketed for an easy layup the other way, and so was the lack of Vince Carter, whose quietly been doing huge things off the bench for Dallas.
In the second quarter, the Thunder really poured it on and outscored the Mavericks 39-22 in the period. They got anything they wanted on offense, and the Mavericks were really lucky to even score 22.
The entire second half was garbage time. There was never once even the slightest feeling that this game was going to winnable for the Mavericks.
The game was as close as ketchup is to peach jelly.
Rather than keep making more similes of how close this game wasn't, here's what happened on an individual note. Shawn Marion was a beast, scoring 23 points on 14 shots. He bailed the offense out several times, and its scary to think how bad this game could have been without him playing so well. Add his three steals and two blocks, and he was on point.
(We'll forgive Matrix for the solo rebound. It's a rarity.)
Dominique Jones rose from the grave (known as the bench around here) and scored 15 points. Sure, it was a lot of garbage time buckets, but like I said, there was a whole lot of garbage time too. He hit 5-of-8 from the field and 5-of-7 from the charity stripe, doing his usual attacking the basket thing. He really does have a knack for getting the whistle that we would see more often if he had more talent in other areas. Even back at the University of South Florida, he went to the line with authority. His body type really accentuated that.
Brandan Wright led the team in rebounding with seven, suckahs.
Bernard James picked up four blocks, reaffirm my belief that he's a rebounding/shot blocking specialist for the next few years if nothing else. He really has a knack for it.
Dirk returned but wasn't very good. 3-of-11 shooting resulted in 10 points and just wasn't enough. He's not right, guys. Being able to catch-and-shoot and being able to create his own shot is very different.
With an entire second half almost worthless, there just isn't much else that happened. This game was as close as the Titantic is to the surface of the ocean. Third time was hardly the charm tonight.
But hey, no one expected anything different, did they?