By Will Martin
History has not been kind to the Dallas Mavericks when playing the team formerly known as the Seattle Supersonics. Since coming south and coming into play this March 16th Oklahoma City had a 12-7 advantage on Dallas if you exclude the playoffs.
On an extremely chilly day in Oklahoma, the Mavericks came into Thunder country and did the exact opposite of what you usually expect of this #7 seeded team. It grabbed a lead, built on it, and held it.
Yes, it helped that Michael Westbrook was held out of the game as a precaution for the Monday night back-to-back in Chicago. The Mavericks also didn’t see Thabo Sefolosha or Kendrick Perkins due to injury.
Be that as it may Dallas improved their season record to 40-27 on a night Vince Carter surpassed 23,000 career points with a convincing 109-86 thumping of the Thunder.
How rare was a win for the Mavericks against the OKC? How about the snapping of an 11 game skid to the Thunder! Dirk Nowitzki wasn’t exactly on with his A game yet made 17 points. Shawn Marion led all Dallas scorers with 19 points while Jose Calderon got hot behind the arc and added 16 points in a game that Dallas took control of in percentages.
Dallas hit 50 percent overall in the first quarter (9-for-18) and 50 percent from three (4-for-8) in the first. The Mavs upped that to 51.2 percent by halftime, handing out 15 assists. Shawn Marion was 5-for-9 (12 points) in the first half. Durant was 6-for-13 (20 points) in the first 24 minutes. Dallas shot 55.9 percent in the second half overall and 60 percent (6-for-10) on threes. 13 of 24 altogether for the game.
“They were down a great player so we caught a break there. You still gotta go out and play. They’ve had a great record with and without Westbrook. It’s a game we needed, so it’s a plus for us.” according to Rick Carlisle.
At no time would the Dallas Mavericks shoot below 50% in the game nor would they trail at the end of any quarter in getting said 23 point victory.
“This wasn’t one of our better games, we didn’t come out with the energy it takes. We’ve just gotta play much better defense. We didn’t do a lot of things right on the defensive end we were chasing the basketball all night,” according to Thunder coach Scott Brooks.
Dallas had their way with Oklahoma City with a 40-22 advantage with points in the paint and outrebounded OKC to the tune of 42-33. This is worth noting because when the Thunder have ourrebounded their opponents by ten or more in a game the season record is 21-4.
Even Samuel Dalembert added a ten spot in what was truly a solid overall team effort.
The Mavericks are one win shy from their 41 win season a year ago. An eight game homestand now awaits the Mavericks with no back to backs, more like a game every other night.
When asked about the performance of the play of Monta Ellis and Shawn Marion, Head Coach Carlisle shared the following:
“I thought (Shawn) Marion and (Monta) Ellis were the two key guys in the game. Marion’s defense, timely scoring, shot making and Ellis was sick tonight. I don’t think most guys would have played but he wanted to play. He wasn’t himself in terms of scoring the ball but he did a lot of good things, getting other guys involved. His quickness was in the game and he made timely plays. He hasn’t missed a game yet and I think he’s hell-bent on playing 82 if he can.”
Kevin Durant himself had a 30 point night with a 4 for 8 success rate behind the arc. Aided by Serge Ibaka’s 19 points it was not enough to keep up the 50% and upswing of Dallas.
“Just knowing we can learn from this loss and don’t want to have this feeling again. That’s from everyone in this locker room, just have to move past this and have a short term memory of who won this game and we can’t bring it into the game tomorrow (in Chicago). We lost and have to go out there and try to get a W tomorrow.” Durant conceded.
“We didn’t do a lot of things right on the defensive end. We didn’t get into our coverages. We didn’t stop the basketball. They were shooting threes. They were driving to the basket. We were chasing the basketball all over tonight. When we are good, we control the ball and we didn’t do that tonight.” Scott Brooks said.
3/17 vs Celtics 7:30 PM
3/19 vs Timberwolves 7:30 PM
3/21 vs Nuggets 7:30 PM
3/23 vs Nets 6:30 PM