The Oklahoma City Thunder played the Dallas Mavericks for the second time this season last night and for the second time the two teams played into overtime.
The Thunder came out on top again 117-114 behind a career-high 52 points by Kevin Durant.
OKC shot just 41.1 percent from the field for the game as they went cold in the fourth quarter. Dallas came back from down nine in the final period to force overtime after O.J. Mayo hit a 3-pointer with two seconds left in regulation.
Dallas was led by Vince Carter who scored 29 points off the bench for them. Dirk Nowitzki started and scored 18 points on 5-of-19 shooting in 41 minutes.
This game was the first of six straight that will be on the road for the Thunder coming up now.
Here are the Game Grades:
Kevin Durant – 50 minutes, 52 points, 9 rebounds, 1 assist – A+
Durant surpassed his previous career-high of 51 with 52 last night. He did so ironically not so efficiently as he has been all season. He went 13-for-31 from the field but was 5-for-9 from deep and made all 21 of his free throw attempts. Durant hit the game-winner as well which was very reminiscent of his game-winner in Game 1 of the first round vs. Dallas last season. He isolated with Shawn Marion on him, took him off the dribble going to his left and hit a tough one-handed fall away with 16 seconds left to put OKC ahead 116-114. Durant’s one assist was not because he was playing selfish but rather his teammates weren’t making shots.
Russell Westbrook – 45 minutes, 31 points, 6 assists, 6 rebounds – A
Westbrook scored 30 points or more for the third straight game. Four of his rebounds came on the offensive glass with two of them resulting in quick putbacks for easy baskets. Westbrook was just under 50 percent shooting for the game which is a good number for him. He and Durant both struggled to hit shots in the fourth quarter but Westbrook did hit a big one in overtime. Darren Collison only had 15 points in the point guard matchup vs. Westbrook last night so he did a better job of containing him than in the first meeting.
Serge Ibaka – 45 minutes, 11 points, 14 rebounds, 2 blocks – B
Ibaka was not great in this one making just 5-of-13 field goals. Had he been feeling it a little more, this game would not have gone into overtime and OKC would have won in regulation. Ibaka did grab seven offensive rebounds and swat a few shots however.
Kevin Martin – 31 minutes, 11 points, 1 rebound – C
Martin struggled from the field again shooting just 3-for-10 overall and 1-of-6 from distance. He was not on the floor at the end of the fourth or overtime as Scott Brooks went with Thabo Sefolosha instead.
Kendrick Perkins – 30 minutes, 2 points, 9 rebounds, 1 assist – B
The Thunder missed Perkins when he was out of the game and his return late in the fourth quarter was a positive for OKC. He played great defense on Dirk and rebounded well. He committed five fouls and made just 1-of-3 shots but was still better than usual overall.
Thabo Sefolosha – 25 minutes, 0 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists – C
Sefolosha was held scoreless for just second time this season. The Thunder need Sefolosha to at least give them a few points to be at their best. He was 0-for-4 from the field and 0-for-2 from deep. Sefolosha did have the best plus-minus on the team at plus-11 for the game.
Nick Collison – 22 minutes, 8 points, 5 rebounds – B+
Collison is known for guarding Dirk very well and that was the case again last night. He did pick up five fouls and was replaced by Perkins in the fourth quarter but still did his job as always. He didn’t have any assists which is a sign that the second unit wasn’t producing too much scoring.
Reggie Jackson – 8 minutes, 2 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist – B
Jackson played solidly in his limited action. His one field goal was a nice drive under control in the fourth quarter. His defense was pretty solid too.
DeAndre Liggins – 9 minutes, 0 points, 2 rebounds, 2 steals – B+
Liggins didn’t take any shots but his presence was still felt in this game. The Thunder outscored Dallas by nine in Liggins’ nine minutes of action and he had a big part in that. The energy was there as always and he made plays with a couple of steals and also an assist. Liggins will keep getting these minutes.