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Mavericks at Thunder final score: Dallas can't overcome sluggish start, falls to OKC 104-89

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In the first game back from the break, the Mavericks took their time to warm up, and it cost them them the game.

Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

In a game in which OKC was shorthanded due to the crazy trade deadline and an injury to one of their key players, the Mavericks took their sweet time in shaking off the rust, and it cost them at the end.

Neither team particularly opened the game strong, but the Thunder at least sucked a little less, getting out to a 12-6 lead. The Mavs got plenty of good looks but nothing seemed to be falling: 3-15 early, all of which came outside the arc. Both teams seemed like they were coming off a break, to be completely honest. Mavs couldn't make a two point basket to save their lives, and in fact on one series they got THREE offensive boards only to not get a basket. Chandler Parsons lost a ball on the breakaway after a steal. No Maverick ever seemed to see a Rondo pass coming. The Mavs would finally get their first 2-point basket in the game with just over three minutes left in the quarter. They would finish the quarter down 19-25, shooting 25 percent and with seven turnovers.

The second quarter wasn't terribly much better: the Mavs continued to not do much, and OKC continued to take advantage of them not doing much. Mavs would hae a few more offensive boards for a second chance at points, but even then couldn't capitalize. Chandler Parsons led the team in rebounding for most of the half, which should tell you about all you need to know.

Turnovers at 13 and shooting at 29.2%. Mavs would finish the first half down 36-52. Awful.

Third quarter started with OKC getting approximately eleventy billion shot chances in the first minute, and the Mavs getting no points in the first 2 plus minutes, and frankly I lost interest at that point.

I guess they played a fourth quarter. Whatever. The Mavs made it interesting in the fourth, stringing together a nice little run to get within 10 during the first two minutes of the quarter -- mostly due to OKC getting sloppy with the ball themselves. They'd keep it within 10 for a large portion of the quarter, but ultimately couldn't overcome the sluggish start.

Some observations:

  • The Mavs just...I don't know, forgot how to basketball for most of the game? Even on possessions where they managed to get an o-board or three, they frequently couldn't convert. There were plenty of open looks, but shots didn't fall. That is going to have to change to have a hope of competing in the West. At least they kept it competitive-ish towards the end?
  • OKC killed the Mavs on the boards. They're the best rebounding team in the NBA, sure, but outrebounded by 23?? Good lord.
  • Monta Ellis had 6 steals. At least when he's having a poor shooting night, he makes up for it in other ways. One of the biggest things I like about him.
  • Turnovers seem to continue to be a problem, continuing a trend from before the break. The Mavericks have consistently been near the top of the league in terms of taking care of the ball this season, but that hasn't held true the last handful of games. That is a thing I don't expect to continue on a Rick Carlisle-coached team.
  • Russell Westbrook: good at basketball. (10 assists, 34 points).
  • I know Rondo hasn't been with the team in a while due to injury, but either Rondo forgot how to pass or none of the Mavs remembered how to catch or both. Teammates frequently looked surprised to have the ball coming their direction, which, as a few folks on Twitter pointed out....he's probably not shooting, so. These guys need to learn to play together, and fast. The stretch run is officially here.
  • This isn't a game that disturbs me much, to be honest. OKC is a good team. However...
  • ...Houston is up tomorrow. Let us pray.