In perhaps the most entertaining offensive basketball game since the All-Star break, the Dallas Mavericks shot a ridiculous 62 percent from the field to hold on against the incendiary Oklahoma City Thunder.
Monta Ellis led the Mavericks with 26 points, four rebounds, five assists and four steals. Chandler Parsons poured in 18 of his 22 in the second half. Anthony Morrow was the high point man for the Thunder with 32, while Russell Westbrook chipped in 31 (along with 11 rebounds and assists) and Enes Kanter had 30.
I'm still trying to figure out what just happened, because that game was absolutely insane. The first quarter was a back and forth affair with Monta Ellis looking spry after a one game absence due to injury. Rajon Rondo started cooking early with a pair of layups and two outside jumpers. Enes Kanter did work early, getting great position and using amazing balance on a number of post moves. Later in the quarter his free throws kept the Thunder alive. Somehow, Dallas escaped the quarter up 28-25, surviving missing all five 3-pointers and giving up four offensive boards to Oklahoma City.
Things refused to let up in the second quarter with each team trading shot after shot. The Mavericks led the whole period, leading by as much as eight. Al-Farouq Aminu had a huge quarter, with a pair of dunks and a corner three. Anthony Morrow ramped up his reign of terror hitting tough shot after tough shot. Dallas fans were even treated to a return of old school Dirk Nowitzki when the Thunder elected to have Steve Novak guard Dirk one on one. He missed his first two shots, then buried his final three attempts of the half. It seemed as if the Mavericks might take momentum and a six point lead into the final period before Anthony Morrow nailed another three pointer to end the half. Dallas lead 66-63 after two quarters.
The Thunder did the thing a lot of teams have done to Dallas out of halves these last few years: punched them right in the mouth with a quick 7-0 run to take the lead. The Thunder lead would balloon to as many as nine points before the Mavericks settled in. The Dirk Nowitzki Show resumed with a pair of jumpers and baiting Mitch McGary into his fourth personal foul. Dallas continued to nip at the heels of the Thunder before a Westbrook turnover led to an Aminu and one in transition helped the Mavericks regain the lead. Devin Harris gave Dallas a three point lead on a great layup then committed the cardinal sin of fouling a 3-point shooter in Russell Westbrook right before the quarter ended. Westbrook hit all three free throws and the game was tied 101 a piece heading into the final period.
The Dallas bench took control for the Mavericks early in the fourth as Amar'e "Isolation" Stoudemire connected on a post move and a jumper. Devin Harris then drove on a gambling Westbrook to give Dallas a six point lead and forced a Scott Brooks timeout. A pair of J.J. Barea drives put the Mavericks up ten points. Following a pair of Westbrook free throws an Anthony Morrow three brought the Thunder back in play. Dallas kept the lead extended in the five to seven point range before a Waiters lay up and a Morrow put back made the game uncomfortably close.
Then, Chandler Parsons went to work. Parsons went blow for blow against Russell Westbrook and Anthony Morrow and somehow came out on top, hitting five shots in a row in the final five minutes for 11 points. An isolation, a jumper, a cross screen, a floater with a free throw. It was insane. He left a great dime for Tyson Chandler which resulted in a dunk. All the while Oklahoma City simply would not miss. Monta Ellis had a clutch baseline lay up to give Dallas a three point lead with one minute left. Westbrook would answer with a pair of free throws. But it was our man Chandler Parsons who nailed an elbow jumper with thirteen seconds left and sealed the game. Dallas walked away with a 134-131 victory.
- Chandler Parsons!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I don't know why the heck the guy goes huge stretches without the ball (yes I do, but we can talk about Monta Ellis another day, I choose to be happy right now), but that was an incredible second half for Parsons. He has a tendency to disappear if he starts the game poorly, but he played so well in the second half. I just love it when he handles the ball.
- Hey, that Dirk fellow passed 28,000 points. If you watched the OKC feed like I did, it was abhorrent how disrespectful they were about Dirk. It's hard to get into here, but they infuriated me. I hope few of you had to a suffer through it.
- Devin Harris doesn't get enough love in my recap, but his pace pushing, particularly after makes, is a massive reason why Dallas won. Really liked how he played tonight.
- Rajon Rondo played pretty awesomely in the first half and was down right brutal in spots in the second half. So it goes with him.
- Al-Farouq Aminu remains the best signing of the off season for Dallas, at least in terms of value. What a player. He's playing with such confidence too -- it's really rewarding to watch.
- Hard for me to believe Anthony Morrow wasn't good enough to play in Dallas. Then again, as Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas pointed out, he had Mike James and Collison passing to him, not Russell Westbrook.
- 93 points between Westbrook, Morrow and Kanter. That's crazy. And Westbrook had a triple double!
- Dallas shot 62 percent. That needed to be said again.
- Oh hey, the Houston Rockets are on deck for tomorrow. Greeaaat.