Western Conference Finals Game 3: Mavs vs Thunder

Posted by By at 23 May, at 23 : 30 PM Print

Western Conference Finals Game 3: Mavs vs Thunder

The Dallas Mavericks, one of the leagues’ best road teams, stepped foot in the Oklahoma City Arena to try and regain the lead of the series and reclaim home-court advantage. After a 20+ Dallas lead and a nail-biting Thunder comeback, the Mavericks went home with the 93-87 victory to go up in the series, 2-1.

Dallas had a great start to the first quarter as they quickly went on a 13-4 run led by Stevenson before it eventually cruised to double figures behind the long-range shooting of Kidd and Peja. The Mavs’ zone defense held the Thunder to shooting just 4 of 17 in the first as well as committing 6 turnovers. Dallas had a lead as large as 17 before ending the first quarter up, 27-12.

In the second quarter, Dallas’ lead capped off at 23 points when their 20-4 run finally came to an end. The Thunder fought back and started to gain momentum before the half, as they cut their deficit to 52-36 at the end of the second.

Both teams’ best player wasn’t playing up to par at the half-Nowitzki was just 2 for 5 with 5 points while Durant was 2 for 10 despite his 10 points-so Marion and Westbrook came to help their team out, getting 12 points a piece in the first half. With OKC 0 for 8 from beyond the arc and Dallas 5 for 9, the Mavs outshot them, 52.5% to 29.4%.

Jason Kidd started off the third quarter with a personal 4-0 run as he sparked the Mavs’ offense, while Nowitzki was still cold from the floor. Tension built up for OKC leading to a technical foul on Westbrook when he pushed Nowitzki after a dead ball. Chandler also received a technical in the third after an accidental elbow to James Harden’s face. With physicality issues brewing, the Thunder used this as encouragement as they fought back with an 8-0 run to come within 13, when Dirk came out of his shooting slump to hit a 3-pointer to put the Mavs up 70-56 to end the third quarter.

Despite the deficit, the Thunder continued to battle throughout the fourth quarter cutting Dallas’ lead to 76-64 with just under 9 minutes to go. Westbrook managed to cut it to a 10-point game until Dirk made another shot to keep the Thunder down. Again, Westbrook cut the deficit to just 8 this time with 6:30 to go followed by another score by Nowitzki with 4 minutes left, putting the Thunder back into an 84-75 hold. OKC would continue to have a disadvantage with their troubled shooting from deep, disallowing them to come back any closer than 4 before Terry hit a jumper to put Dallas up 86-78 with under 2 minutes on the clock. Nowitzki continued to awaken from his shooting slump as he swished in a 16-footer with 42 seconds left to put the Mavs back up by 8. Westbrook then finally ended a 0 for 16 drought from 3-point range. A couple of trips to the free throw line put the game away for the Mavs as they grabbed the 93-87 victory to regain home-court advantage and gain a 2-1 series lead.

Despite shooting 7 of 21 from the floor, Nowitzki equaled Marion with 18 points, although Marion outdid him with his 9 of 13 shooting. Kidd and Terry also matched each other’s 13 points as well as 8 assists for the veteran PG.

Durant was right along with Dirk shooting 7 of 22 but finished with 24 points and 12 rebounds. Westbrook led all scorers with 30 points, but had 7 personal turnovers thanks to Kidd’s key defense.

Dallas outshot OKC, 43.9% to 36.5%. Despite Chandler’s game-high 15 rebounds, the Thunder had a 45-37 rebounding edge. And like usual, the Mavs bench outscored the Thunder’s 28-16.

The Mavs will head into Game 4 Monday night with a chance to get another victory in OKC Arena and take a 3-1 series lead

**Game 4 will air on ESPN, Monday, May 23rd at 9pm ET.

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