The Mavericks have been riding the great play of Dirk Nowitzki in this playoff season, but the other night he just did not have his game. Nowitzki struggled from the field only to have some key players step and get a must needed 93-87 victory.
Oklahoma City welcomed their team back home as the Oklahoma City Thunder (55-27) hosted the Dallas Mavericks (57-25) for their first home game in this series. The Mavs could not hold home court advantage seeing they lost game two, but could take it back with a win on the Thunderâ€™s home floor.
DeShawn Stevenson struck first for the Mavs with a three-pointer that sparked a 9-2 run that gave them an early lead. Stevenson and Dirk Nowitzki both made layups t give the Mavs a 13-4 lead. Kevin Durant made a pair of free-throws then Tyson Chandler made a jumper and Peja Stojakovic made a three-pointer to make it an 18-8 game.
Jason Kidd made a three-pointer and that forced Oklahoma City to take a timeout. Nick Collison made a basket for OKC, but Peja Stojakovic and Shawn Marion made buckets to give Dallas a 15-point lead. Marion later made a jumper to give the Mavs a 27-10 lead with .26 seconds left in the quarter. Kevin Durant made a jumper with .2 seconds left to make it 27-12 to end the quarter.
Dallas opened the second quarter with an 8-0 run that included Jason Terry making four free-throws. Serge Ibaka answered with a free-throw as the Thunder then scored the next four points with Nick Collison making a jumper, and Ibaka getting a dunk. Jason Terry made a three-pointer that gave them a 40-19 lead.
Russell Westbrook made a jumper and Kevin Durant made got a dunk to cut the Mavs lead to 17-points. J.J. Barea made a jumper and Shawn Marion made a dunk to give Dallas a 20-point lead, 46-25. Jason Kidd made a three-pointer that gave the Mavs a 51-29 lead with 2:06 left in the half.
The Thunder finished the half with a 7-1 lead run that cut into the Mavs lead. Dallas went into halftime with a 52-36 lead, but did not score a field-goal since the Kidd jumper at the 2:06 mark. The only other bucket they got during the run was a free-throw from Tyson Chandler.
Jason Kidd scored the first four points for the Mavs to start the third quarter and give them a 54-36 lead. Russell Westbrook made a layup and pair of free-throws to cut into the Mavs lead. DeShawn Stevenson made a three-pointer, and Dirk Nowitzki later made a technical free-throw after Russell Westbrook was hit with a technical.
The score was 63-44 and Shawn Marion made the Mavs lead even bigger with a layup. James Harden made a layup, and then got hit with an elbow from Tyson Chandler. Chandler was hit with a technical foul, and Kevin Durant made the free-throw. Dirk Nowitzki made a three-pointer as the Mavs took a 68-52 lead after a Durant made a jumper for OKC.
Thabo Sefolosha made a layup and Durant made a jumper to end the quarter. Dallas still had a nice lead as they went into the final period up 70-56.
Kevin Durant started the fourth quarter with a jumper as Dallas and OKC traded baskets. James Harden later got a dunk to cut the Mavs lead down to 10-points. Russell Westbrook then went on an 8-2 run that helped the Thunder get the game to 80-72. James Harden made a free-throw to get OKC within six-points.
Kevin Durant made a free-throw and Nick Collison got a dunk to get the Thunder within six-points. Jason Terry made a jumper, but the Thunder began to cut into the Mavs lead as Durant made a pair of free-throws and Russell Westbrook knocking down a three-pointer. The score was 89-83 and Kevin Durant made a jumper to cut the Mavs lead to four-points. Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Terry made free-throws to seal the game for the Mavs.
Shawn Marion and Dirk Nowitzki led the Mavericks in scoring with 18 points apiece. Both finished with four rebounds and one assists, but Marion had two steals and blocks. Jason Kidd scored 13 points with eight assists, six rebounds, and four steals.
Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks
Tyson Chandler did not have a big scoring game, but he had 15 rebounds with eight points and two steals and a block. Jason Terry came off the bench to score 13 points with six assists.
Russell Westbrook scored 30 points to lead the Thunder, and Kevin Durant was second with 24 points, 12 rebounds, and five assists. No other starter scored in double-digits as Serge Ibaka and Nick Collison each scored nine points.
The second game of this two-game home stand will be played Monday, May 23, 2011 at 9:00 PM (EST). The Thunder have a chance to tie the series up with victory, but if the Mavs win this game they can close the Thunder out in game five at home.
Tyson Chandler was hit with a technical for his elbow shot to James Harden, but the NBA rescinded it as appeared that Harden flopped. Harden appeared to hit the floor before Chandler even had the chance to hit him.