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