Can you call a game after the first quarter or even after the second quarter? It’s like a 10 run rule in Little League Baseball; well, unfortunately you can’t and you have to play the whole game.
As Scott Brooks, Thunder coach stated after the game, they finally found out that Dirk Nowitzki is actually human since they contained him and only let him score 8 points on 2-15 shooting from the field and was 0-5 from behind the arc. What has happened to my Dirk? I’m sure that everyone that watches Mavericks basketball is asking that same question. Has he lost his desire for the game? Since he got his ring, does he really care anymore? My answer to these important questions are, no he has not lost his desire for the game and yes he does care about the game and the team.
Dirk himself has admitted that he was not totally in shape or condition when the season started; the Mavericks played into June for the finals and then he played for the German National team for the Olympic qualifier and then wanted to take some time off, and he did; now he has to get his psyche back together and get past the bad stuff. Well, it wouldn’t happen tonight as he only scored 10 points for tonight, but I know that he will do better.
JET led the Mavericks tonight with 25 points on 7 of 10 shooting, but it was not enough to get past the Oklahoma City Thunder led by Russell Westbrook who had 33 points tonight.
Shawn Marion and Brendan Wright added 12 points apiece and Marion had 10 rebounds. Kevin Durant added 23 points and 13 rebounds for the Thunder while James Harden scored 10 points, but the big man of the night for the Thunder was Serge Ibaka who had 11 rebounds, but had 10 blocks. Too bad he was on the other team.
The numbers for tonight for each team was not great,but the Thunder score on 40.7% of their field goals while Dallas only connected on 35.7 of theirs. Each team scored in the 21-25% from the three-point line and finally Dallas did better than someone else on their free throws with Dallas connecting on 88% of their attempts with the Thunder only connecting on 72.7% of theirs. Dallas committed only 15 turnovers while Oklahoma City Thunder had 16, but the Thunder had the upper hand in the rebounding category, 55-44.
Now, this game was not without its excitement either, some good and some, well not so good. Dallas had led throughout the game all the way through to the half, 52-49,but it was evident that the Thunder was not going to let this one go.
I knew that if the Mavericks let the lead go to the Thunder, the way this game was going, that it would be hard for the Mavs to pull of the victory and it came to pass. There were times that Dirk and Delonte West were getting mauled and no calls were being made, but you would breathe wrong on the Thunder, and boom, the whistle blew. It got to bad that you could hear West ask the referee standing next to him, “what do I have to do to get a call?”; Dirk’s frustration was showing also and then with 9:34 left in the fourth quarter, the bottom fell out.
The Thunder had a 75-67 lead and the calls were getting so bad that when the ball was rolling out-of-bounds near the Mavericks bench on a dead ball, Rick Carlisle instead of picking up the ball and sending it to the ref, he kicked the ball instead. I know that he didn’t intend for the ball to go into the crowd under the basket, but it did and needless to say, he was ejected; can’t fault a man if he can’t kick the ball straight to the ref, he’s not a soccer player; but needless to say, you are not supposed to do that. The only thing good that came out of it, was he did go toward the fans in the direction of where the ball went to make sure that everyone was ok and it seemed to put a spark in his team.
The Thunder looked to be in total control of the game, until the Mavericks were playing some tough defense and JET stripped the ball, took control of it, saw Roddy going for the break and with a little scoop pass, got the ball to Roddy who took it and flushed it with vengeance.
Behind the scoring of JET on the two-man game with him and Dirk, Dallas had made a comeback and brought the crowd back into the game by getting the game to an 85-85 tie, with only about 2 minutes left in the game. From there until about 35 seconds left in the game, it was back and forth and back and forth, then Westbrook was able to get a sort of open 3 point shot and took it and got a 92-85 lead for the Thunder.
That sort of put the nail in the coffin for the Mavericks tonight, who were without some of their big men in Brendan Haywood and Lamar Odom. Needless to say, the Thunder left Dallas headed north on 35 with a 95-86 win.
So now we lick our wounds, pull up our socks and get ready for Friday’s game against the surging Indiana Pacers behind the leadership of Danny Granger and Dirk will face an old familiar nemesis, David West. With that, I bid you a good day and say good luck and let’s go Mavs!