Richard Rowe-US PRESSWIRE

NBA Playoffs 2012: Oklahoma City Thunder (2-0) vs. Dallas Mavericks (0-2) Game 3 Preview

The Oklahoma City Thunder will go into Dallas tonight with a chance to take a commanding 3-0 series lead. They did well surviving the first two games and coming away with victories.

Kevin Durant struggled mightily shooting in the first two games with a 10-of-27 showing in Game 1 and 5-for-17 mark in Game 2.

One would thing Durant has to improve a lot on those numbers tonight. He has gotten a lot of looks and taken mostly jump shots. His teammates did a good job of playing well to help the Thunder win despite his low shooting nights but now on the road Durant will have to start knocking down those looks.

Russell Westbrook has been great so far leading the Thunder in scoring. He really has his midrange pull-up working which is always the test for how well he is playing. As long as he can keep that going tonight his entire game will continue to click.

Dirk Nowitzki has averaged 28 per game so far in this series but he just doesn’t seem as dominant as last year. It is still a journey to figure out who will guard him in the post. Dirk seems to have Serge Ibaka’s number and Kendrick Perkins has had some success.

Nick Collison seems to do the best job against Dirk but he does give up a lot of height. The best lineup for the Thunder when it comes to defending Dirk might be Collison and Ibaka on the floor together which seems to never happen.

James Harden has played very well in the first two games of the series and is leading the Thunder in assists. But Harden always tails off some on the road so we will see if he can continue to be aggressive with the ball tonight or if his game seems more subdued.

A key for Dallas will be making three-point shots. Dallas has the personnel to convert open threes so it will be on the Thunder’s watch to play hard defense for the entire shot clock and hustle hard to get out and contest ever shot. The Thunder have done well in this department in the last six quarters of this series.

The Thunder obviously don’t have to win tonight being up 2-0 but it is quite the opportunity to go up 3-0 against the defending champs. A loss wouldn’t be devastating but we’ve seen how Dallas can take over control of a series after winning a game and the Thunder need to avoid that at all costs.

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Saturday, Nov 11 Nov7:00Denver NuggetsBuy Tickets

Tags: Dallas Mavericks Dirk Nowitzki First Round Game 3 James Harden Kendrick Perkins Kevin Durant NBA Playoffs Nick Collison Oklahoma City Thunder Russell Westbrook Serge Ibaka

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