The Oklahoma City Thunder avoided a third consecutive overtime match with the Dallas Mavericks by absolutely blowing them out 112-91 on Monday.
Russell Westbrook let the effort with 24 points and Kevin Durant had double-double figures, 19 points and 10 rebounds.
In the previous two matches, the Mavericks went toe-to-toe with the Thunder but this time they stood no chance. After falling behind by only seven after the first quarter, Dallas let the game get dramatically out of reach. Oklahoma City hit 12 of its first 16 shots in the second quarter and had outscored Dallas 21-1 on the fast break by the time Durant bounced a pass to Kevin Martin–who had 17 points off the bench–for a layup to put Oklahoma City up 61-34. Oklahoma City led by at least 20 throughout the second half (including a high of 33 points in the fourth quarter), and sat all of its starters for the entirety of the final quarter.
For Dallas, Shawn Marion had an incredible game and was the only positive aspect of their performance. He hit 10 of 14 shots for 23 points. Conversely, Dirk Nowitzski was dreadfully cold, making only 3 of 10 of his attempts for 10 points. Vince Carter is out with an illness and did not play, giving him his first missed game of the season.
Though the game was never close, it did get testy. Kendrick Perkins and O.J. Mayo got in each others’ faces and had to be separated, and referee Ken Mauer issued a technical foul against Perkins after reviewing the altercation. Durant also got himself T’d up for gesturing at the ref, tying for an NBA high of nine technicals this season.
The Thunder have now beat the Mavericks 10 of 11 times since Dallas beat them in the 2011 Western Conference finals en route to the NBA championship, including a four-game sweep of the Mavs in last year’s playoffs.
The Thunder–who traded a few wins and losses over their past nine games, but have only recorded back to back losses one time this season–advance to 36-12 on the year. They challenge the Golden State Warriors next on Wed., Feb. 6.