It was a spirited, fierce clash of Western Conference foes when the Oklahoma Thunder and Dallas Mavericks met on Sunday, with these two squads keeping it close wire-to-wire in exciting fashion. When the final buzzer sounded, OKC emerged the victor, winning 107-101 in front of a vibrant Dallas crowd.
Russell Westbrook led the Thunder with 35 points, and Kevin Durant dished out another 31. Serge Ibaka posted a double-double effort, with 18 points and 16 rebounds.
For Dallas, Dirk Nowitzki spearheaded the charge, dropping 23 points on the Thunder. Four other Mavericks scored in double figures, including Vince Carter, who had 18.
The Thunder led the Mavericks through all four quarters, but Dallas nipped at OKC’s heels trailing by no more than two at the end of each quarter until the end.
Durant was unusually cold early on Sunday, making just 3 of 9 shots from the floor before catching fire in the fourth quarter. He hit seven shots in a row, recording 19 of his 31 points in the final period and helping to close out this game in OKC’s favor.
Nowitzki sank a pair of clutch free throws as the game drew closer to the wire, tying it at 101 with under two minutes to play. Oklahoma City however would not back down; Westbrook drilled a 17-footer to put the Thunder up two, and on the following play for Dallas, Mike James’ put up a desperation shot that resulted in a shot-clock violation when Durant got a hand on it and blocked it.
After Nowitzki’s free throws, Dallas failed to get on the board again. The Thunder however kept on rolling, and ultimately pushed their lead to six points, their biggest lead of the night.
The Thunder advance to 50-17 on the season with the win, while the Mavericks fall to 31-35. Oklahoma City takes on the Atlanta Hawks next, on Mon., March 18.