The Oklahoma City Thunder came back to win Game 1 at home against the Dallas Mavericks Saturday night thanks to Kevin Durant doing this.
Durant struggled in the game however going 10-for-27 from the field for 25 points.
The Thunder relied more on Russell Westbrook and his midrange game which was on point. Westbrook scored 28 points to lead the Thunder but his best work was his defense on Jason Terry in the fourth quarter.
Terry was 8-of-9 from the field with 20 points in the first three quarters before Westbrook switched on to him and held him to 0-for-1 shooting and 0 points in the fourth.
Dirk Nowitzki came alive in the fourth after a slow start and the Mavericks were truly looking like the team that win the NBA title last season. Nowitzki scores 11 points of Dallas’ final 13 points but Kendrick Perkins slows him down in the final minutes to help allow the Thunder to come back.
Oklahoma City played with a much better defensive intensity in the second half and they will need to repeat that in the first half of Game 2 to ensure another victory.
Serge Ibaka played great offensively with 22 points but can the Thunder expect that again from him tonight?
Durant will need to be more efficient and Westbrook will need to continue hitting his jump shot. But the Thunder need to get to the line more too only attempting 20 free throws in Game 1.
Westbrook only attempted one free throw and when he’s hitting his jumper sometimes becomes more one-dimensional in his approach. He needs to find a better balance with attacking and looking for his jump shot.
Dallas made 10-of-22 three-pointers and they shouldn’t shoot that high of a mark in Game 2 tonight.
It felt like Dallas played great and Oklahoma City was scrambling to get back in the game Saturday night. It is then very fortunate the Thunder are able to pull out the win and be in position to go up 2-0 tonight.
James Harden continues his strong play against Dallas in Game 1 with 19 points and 9-of-10 free throw shooting. He is the key for this Thunder team to go far in the playoffs and will be especially vital in this matchup with Dallas.