Thunder @ Mavericks Game 4
Thunder 104 Mavericks 92
No team has ever come back 3-0 in an NBA playoffs before and there is no way the Mavericks can do it against a great Oklahoma City Thunder team. I feel like a broken record but it was too much Kevin Durant for the Mavs to handle in game 4, as the Thunder complete the sweep of the Mavs and move onto the second round of the playoffs after a 104-92 win.
The Thunder made a statement right away, scoring 34 in the first and then took a 56-43 lead at half. Dallas showed some life in the third as they made a run to cut the Thunder lead to 72-68 heading to the fourth, but Kevin Durant took complete control of the game as he finished with 44 points and the Thunder win the game 104-92 and the series 4-0.
As I said it was all Kevin Durant in this one as he was nearly unguradable. Durant finished with 44 points (17-33, 6-12 3pt, 4-5 ft), 15 boards, 3 steals and a block. James Harden off the bench scored 27 points (8-17, 5-13 3pt, 6-6 ft). Russell Westbrook flirted with a triple double as he finished with 11 points (5-13, 1-2 ft), 6 boards, 15 assists, 4 steals and a block. Serge Ibaka had 9 points, 6 boards (4 offensive) and a block. Despite 19 turnovers the Thunder nearly played a perfect game. They shot 47% from the field (36-76, 11-25 3pt) and were 21-28 from the foul line.
Jason Terry led the way for the Mavs with 20 points (5-9, 2-2 3pt, 8-8 ft), 5 boards and 2 steals. Dirk finished with a double double, scoring 19 points on 8-16 shooting and had 10 boards. Vince Carter scored 18 points (6-12, 2-4 3pt, 4-6 ft), 5 boards, 2 assists. Jason Kidd had 16 points, 9 boards and 7 assists. The Mavericks were very sloppy with the ball as they committed 21 turnovers, they only shot 37% (27-72, 6-22 3pt) but were 32-35 from the foul line.
It was clear the youth of the Thunder was too much for the veterans of the Mavericks as they basically ran them off the court in 4 straight games. It'll be interesting to see if Durant can continue this tare he's on, as he averaged 37.5 points per game.
Thunder beat the Mavericks 4-0 in the series
Thunder @ Mavericks Game 3
Thunder 104 Mavericks 100
In the first two games Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook have combined 138 points (Durant 36.5, Westbrook 33 per game), totally dominating the series as the Mavs have no answer for either one of them. Dirk is doing all he can but isn't getting much help from the rest of the Mavs roster. Down 2-0 the Mavs look to get a win in front of the home fans.
Well the Mavs keep getting closer and closer but they can't seem to find a way to beat the Thunder. They kept pace with the Thunder in the 1st quarter only trailing 26-22 but after a 13 points quarter they found themselves down 14 at half 49-35. The third quarter was a wash as both teams scored 30 and the Mavs came as close as 1 point in the 4th as they outscore the Thunder 35-25 and lose a nail biter 104-100. They'll have to look at that second quarter and wonder if they had played better if they could have won this game. But at the end of the day the Thunder lead the series 3-0.
Once again it was Durant and Westbrook posting big numbers but the Mavs had trouble stopping Ibaka and Harden as well. Durant finished with 33 (11-23, 3-6 3pt, 8-9 ft), 12 boards, and 2 blocks. Westbrook added in 23 (7-16, 9-9 ft), 12 assists, 6 boards and 3 steals. Ibaka had a monster game with 22 points (10-21, 2-2 ft), 14 boards and 4 blocks. James Harden off the bench scored 17 points (6-13, 2-3 3pt, 3-4 ft) with 3 boards, 3 assists and a block and a steal. As a team the Thunder shot 44% (35-80, 5-13 3pt) and 29-32 from the foul line.
For once, it wasn't Dirk leading the Mavs in scoring. Shawn Marion led the way with 20 points (5-15, 0-1 3pt, 10-10 ft) along with 6 boards, 2 assists, 1 steal and 2 blocks. Dirk finished second in scoring with 15 as he went 7-16 from the field and failed to get to the foul line. Jason Kidd was 1 assist away from a triple double as he had 14 points (4-10, 4-9 3pt, 2-3 ft) 10 boards, 9 assists and 2 steals. Delonte West (13) and Vince Carter (12) both scored in double figures. The Mavs shot 41% (34-82, 11-22 3pt) and 21-26 from the foul line.
Game 4 is Saturday in Dallas
Mavericks @ Thunder game 2
Thunder 101 Mavericks 94
Game 1 was dominated by Durant and Westbrook and which helped the Thunder pull out a double digit victory. If they want to survive this series they know they'll have to try and contain those two players and force the supporting Thunder cast to beat them. Also the Mavs know what to expect out of Dirk in playoff games, but they really need other guys to step up and have some break out games so it's not Dirk doing it all.
The Thunder were red hot in the first half in this one as they scored 57 first half points and held the Mavs to 43. The Mavs defense showed up in the third, which led to easy baskets as they outscored the Thunder 36-17, taking a 79-74 lead into the final quarter. But never count out the Thunder as they have two of the best scorers in the leauge and they were lights out as they pull out a 101-94 victory, taking a 2-0 lead to Dallas.
Game 1 they combined for 63 points, and in game 2 they combined for 75. Durant scored 38 (15-30, 5-10 3pt, 3-4 ft) to go along with his team high 11 boards. Westbrook scored 38 (15-27, 1-1 3pt, 6-7 ft) and had 8 assists. They both had 4 steals in this one as well. Ibaka and Harden each scored 8 in htis one. As a team the Thunder shot just under 50% going 40-82 from the field, 10-19 from downtown and 11-13 from the foul line. They were very smart with the ball only turning it over 12 times. Ibaka Collinson and Perkins combined for 5 blocks.
Once again it was Dirk doing all he could to keep the Mavs in this one as he scored 26 points (9-21, 0-4 3pt, 8-8 ft) and a game high 13 boards. Vince Carter scored 17 points (6-11, 3-3 3pt, 2-2 ft) and had 9 boards but had 6 of the teams 22 turnovers, something they'll need to improve on moving forward. Terry and Marion scored in double figures, 14 and 13 respectfully. As a team they shot 42% and were 7-15 from downtown.
Game 3 is Thursday Night in Dallas.
Mavericks @ Thunder Game 1
Thunder 100 Mavericks 85
The Thunder were the best team for most of the NBA regular season until the Spurs were almost unbeatable and ended up overtaking the Thunder for the #1 seed in the Western Conference. In result the Thunder got
stuck playing the defending NBA champions, the Dallas Mavericks. A tough matchup for any team.
In the first the Mavericks came out hot on offense and really held an explosive Thunder lineup in check taking a 23-17 lead after 1. But the Thunder came out with a different attitude in the 2nd quarter holding the Mavs to only 13 points in the quarter, jumping out to a 42-36 halftime lead. In the third, it was all Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook as the Thunder outscore the Mavs 37-21, leading by 22 points 79-57, heading to the 4th. Westbrook, Durant and Harden rested for most of the 4th as the Thunder coasted to a 100-85 game 1 victory.
Durant and Westbrook controlled the game as they combine for 63 (Durant 35 13-28, 4-9 3pt, 5-5 ft, Westbrook 28, 8-23, 12-14 ft), and Harden dropped in 19 off the bench going 6-7 from the field including 4 3's and 3-3 from the free throw line. On top of the 35 points, Durant also grabbed a team high 12 boards to go along with 3 steals and 2 blocks. Westbrook had 9 assists, and Ibaka and Perkins played great defense, each having 2 blocks. As a team the Thunder were 29-66 from the field, 8-16 from downtown, and 34-46 from the free throw line. Even though the Thunder won this game pretty easily, it would be nice for them to play great for 4 quarters, and to do that they need to come out playing better basketball in the 1st.
Even with a loss, Nowitzki was his normal self scoring 25 points (8-19, 4-6 3pt, 5-5 ft) grabbing 12 boards. Four other Mavs scored in double figures (Carter 13, Terry 13, Beaubois 11, Marion 10). Delonte West really struggled scoring 3 points, all from the free throw line as he shot 0-7. The big men for the Mavs provided very little as Perkins/Ibaka/Mohammed/Collinson were too physical. Mahinmi, Haywood and Wright combined for 8 points, 16 boards and 2 blocks. The Mavs are going to have to find a way to get to the line more often as they were out shot 46-24 from there. They are going to need Dirk to get to the basket more often like he did last postseason. They did shoot 10-22 from downtown (Dirk 4, Beaubois 3, Carter 2, Terry 1) however, something they'll need to do well throughout the series.
Game 2 is Monday Night in Oklahoma City