Tuesday , May , 01 , 2012 Matt Formica

Thunder Outlast Mavericks in Game 2

Game two of the series proved to be another close one as Oklahoma City beat Dallas 102-99.  OKC leads the series 2-0.

Russell Westbrook led the Thunder with 29 points and Durant added 26 and 10 rebounds.

Dirk Nowitzki led all Mavs with 31 points and 6 rebounds.  He also was perfect at the free-throw line, making 11 of his 11 attempts.

The game got chippy early when Nowitzki made a jumper and took an inadvertent shot in the face from Ibaka on defense.  Dirk was all fired up when a foul wasn’t called and gave Ibaka a bump while getting back on defense only to then get into with Perkins down low.  Perkins wasn’t about to get pushed around by Dirk and both were hit with double-technicals.

It looked like OKC was going to be in control of the game but Dallas clawed back and made it close to the end.  Jason Terry had two chances to hit a three in the final seconds that would’ve sent the game into overtime, but missed both. 

While Westbrook’s 29 points will be the story for tomorrow’s headlines, I found it to be an interesting game for a few other reasons. 

1.)  Derek Fisher played the role that OKC needs him to, scoring 11 points off the bench on 5-6 shooting from the field, including a buzzer beater he made at the end of the first quarter.

2.)  The way the Thunder ended the first quarter was one of the more momentous endings to a quarter of basketball that I’ve seen in a while.  First Harden hit a three. Then Delonte West turned it over and Harden found Collison down low for a reverse layup.  Daequan Cook stole the ball, passed to Harden, who then passed back to Cook and Cook made a jump-shot.  The Mavs came down the court and Delonte West missed a three that was rebounded by Cook, who took a few dribbles and made an outlet pass up-court to Fisher who drained a shot at the buzzer.  It all happened in 82 seconds.  It was pretty amazing to watch.

3.)  If Jason Kidd doesn’t shoot 20% from the field, the Mavericks might have won.  I’m not picking on Jason Kidd but he’s always been known as a good shooter.  A guy who’s reliable when the team needs a three.  But tonight the veteran point guard went 2-10 from the field, shooting 1-6 from three point land.  If he makes just one more of his three point attempts, the game is tied at the end of regulation.

In both game one and game two, the Mavericks had the lead at some point in the final minute and ended up losing.  Really the only thing working in their favor right now is being at home for the next two games.  Game 3 is Thursday night in Dallas.

But with the way Kevin Durant unselfishly and humbly leads his team, there’s no question the Mavericks have their work cut out for them.

Questions or comments?  Get at me Hoopsvibers!