Western Conference Finals Game 2: Mavs vs Thunder

Posted by By at 21 May, at 22 : 56 PM Print

With a franchise record 7-game postseason winning streak and 6-0 mark at home, the Mavs went into Game 2 vs the Thunder hoping to maintain the momentum and prevent what the Bulls experienced the night before. But the hungry Thunder were too much for the Mavs, getting the 106-100 victory and tying up the series at 1 a piece.

Scores by Marion and a couple 3-pointers from Kidd led the Mavs to an early 17-11 lead midway through the first. Dirk continued to take advantage of his matchup with Ibaka, scoring easy buckets. Chandler then had a handful of dunks assisted by Kidd to push their lead to double digits. At this time, Durant started to lead his team back into the game after scoring 14 points in the first and ending the quarter with a memorable dunk over Haywood to take a 31-26 lead over Dallas at the end of the first quarter.

The Thunder bench played a major role in the second with Harden and Maynor continuing a 20-7 run from the end of the first quarter to take a 37-35 lead in the startĀ of the second. Then the attention turned to the Mavs’ bench as Barea and Stojakovic sparked a 13-3 run of their own. But Durant and Westbrook wouldn’t let their team fall behind as they took their team to a 59-57 lead to end the second quarter.

Durant and Westbrook combined for 28 points in the first half while Dirk and Chandler combined for 24 and Kidd added 8 points and 5 assists. Despite Dallas’ effort, the Thunder outshot the Mavs, 55.6% to 50%.

The Thunder exploded with energy to start the third quarter, continuing an 11-0 run that began in the end of the first half to take an 8-point lead. But the Mavs fought back with 3-pointers from Kidd and Stevenson to spark an 11-2 run. Their run came to an end when Terry fouled Harden on a made 3-pointer, giving him a four-point play to end the third and a Thunder lead of 77-76.

In the start of the fourth quarter, Dirk and Durant exchanged buckets on each end while Harden continued to attack the Mavs’ defense next to Maynor in the backcourt. Harden swished in shot after shot, showing to be unstoppable, as the Thunder took a 102-92 lead with 3:15 left to go. Dallas fought back however, cutting it to 102-98 with a minute to go as Dirk swished in back to back shots and Stevenson hit a pair of free throws. Collison then answered with one of his own before fouling Nowitzki on a 3-pointer to foulĀ out of the game. Dirk’s 39 consecutive free throw streak came to an end on the 2nd of 3 free throws, after passing Ray Allen and Ben Gordon at 33 for the longest stretch of its kind in the last 5 years. He hit the third free throw to make it a 4-point game. The Mavs forced a 24-second violation, getting the ball back, but Peja missed a 3 as it found its way to Sefolosha as he got fouled. Thabo hit both free throws to put the game away for the Thunder.

OKC outshot Dallas, 55.7% to 43.8%, and had 3 more turnovers, 15-12, as they both had 17 points off the giveaways. The most unbelievable stat is that OKC’s bench outscored Dallas’ 50-29 after they got demolished in Game 1 by Dallas’, 53-22.

Despite the loss, Dirk finished wit ha game-high 29 points, including 16 just in the fourth quarter. Chandler finished with a double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds while Kidd had 13 points and 7 assists. Barea added 11 points to make it four Mavs in double figures.

For the Thunder, Durant led with 24 points while Harden was right behind him with 23 points off the bench, including four 3-pointers. Despite a horrible Game 1 and sitting out the entire fourth quarter of Game 2, Westbrook finished with 18 points. Maynor also added 13 points off the bench to make it four players in double figures.

The Thunder tied up the series at 1-1 before heading back home for Games 3 and 4 in Oklahoma City, where the Mavs took two wins during the regular season.

Now OKC has all the momentum with the advantage of playing on their home court next, but Dallas tied Miami with the best road record in the regular season, so it should be interesting. Dallas has to execute and make stops like they’ve done in the first two series if they want to take control of the series again.

**Game 3 will air on ESPN, Saturday, May 21st at 9pm ET.

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