Thunder: More Thoughts On OKC's Dominating Game 4 Win


Sunday, April 24th 2016, 8:25 pm
By: Brett Coppenbarger


We’ve seen an array of interesting things throughout the first round playoff battle between the Thunder and Mavericks, as OKC now holds an advantageous 3-1 series lead after a dominant 119-108 win in Game 4.

The Thunder will have a chance to finish things up on Monday night at 7 p.m., but before we move forward, let’s look back on a few notable things from Saturday night’s Thunder win.

D-Will’s done for Dallas

Mavericks point guard Deron Williams has been playing throughout a sports hernia throughout the entire postseason—until now. Williams was in the Mavs’ starting lineup last night after sitting out in Game 3, but he only registered one minute of game action before heading to the locker room in pain.

Dallas head coach Rick Carlisle announced on Sunday that Williams would be done for the year.

That leaves the door open for J.J. Barea to enter the starting lineup, but the controversial point guard is dealing with a groin ailment of his own and exited Saturday’s game a bit early after failing to score in 27 minutes of game action.

It’ll be interesting to see how much Coach Carlisle will turn to reserve point guard Devin Harris throughout the rest of the series, seeing he’s averaged 7.5 ppg during the four games against the Thunder while shooting over 52 percent from the field.

With Thunder comes rain

The Thunder has been pouring on the scoring totals in this series, and a lot of that has to do with OKC’s stellar improvement from behind the arc. The Thunder shot 34.8 percent from deep during the regular season, but has upped that number to 37.3 percent in the Dallas’ series.

OKC drained 43.8 percent of its 16 attempts in Game 4 while Game 3 was even better with a 55.6 percent clip. The Thunder is shooting 45 percent in its three wins, but OKC’s horrid performance from three-point range in Game 2 (7-32) brings down the average a bit.

 A lot of the progress can be credited to the improved shot selection for the Thunder, and mostly Westbrook. The all-NBA point guard shot a woeful 29.6 percent from three in the regular season, but is knocking down 38 percent of his money ball attempts since the playoffs started.

Game 4 repercussions

Saturday night’s grudge match definitely didn’t lack physicality, as there was more than one instance where referees had to intervene and step in between various scuffles throughout the game.

One of those scuffles came early in the game when Anthony Morrow refused to hand over the basketball to Dallas’s Salah Mejri, which resulted in a few pushes between Morrow and Mejri along with Serge Ibaka and J.J. Barea. Both teams had to be separated by coaches in referees, but it was only the start of a heated evening.

The whole debacle clearly got Westbrook fired up and his stat line was the main beneficiary. But his ferocious play brought out some inner rage, which led to Westbrook yelling profanity at a Mavericks’ fan after Mejri immaturely pulled him down from behind after a layup. The NBA wasn’t too fond of the exchange with the fan, and slapped Westbrook with a whopping $25,000 dollar fine.

Westbrook wasn’t the only Thunder player who has to bring out the checkbook, as Kevin Durant was also fined $15,000 dollars for his fourth quarter flagrant 2 foul. Durant was ejected in the game’s final minute for a hard foul committed against Mavs’ rookie Justin Anderson, but Durant said after the game that he wasn't trying to hurt Anderson.

Also worth noting, Dirk Nowitzki got in his second scuffle in as many games after him and Ibaka had some words for each other late in the game. Nowitzki also got into it with guard Andre Roberson in Game 3. 

Dallas head coach Rick Carlisle announced on Sunday that Williams would be done for the year.

Carlisle on Deron Williams: "I think he's done for the year."

— Royce Young (@royceyoung) April 24, 2016

That leaves the door open for J.J. Barea to enter the starting lineup, but the controversial point guard is dealing with a groin ailment of his own and exited Saturday’s game a bit early after failing to score in 27 minutes of game action.

It’ll be interesting to see how much Coach Carlisle will turn to reserve point guard Devin Harris throughout the rest of the series, seeing he’s averaged 7.5 ppg during the four games against the Thunder while shooting over 52 percent from the field.

With Thunder comes rain

The Thunder has been pouring on the scoring totals in this series, and a lot of that has to do with OKC’s stellar improvement from behind the arc. The Thunder shot 34.8 percent from deep during the regular season, but has upped that number to 37.3 percent in the Dallas’ series.

OKC drained 43.8 percent of its 16 attempts in Game 4 while Game 3 was even better with a 55.6 percent clip. The Thunder is shooting 45 percent in its three wins, but OKC’s horrid performance from three-point range in Game 2 (7-32) brings down the average a bit.

 A lot of the progress can be credited to the improved shot selection for the Thunder, and mostly Westbrook. The all-NBA point guard shot a woeful 29.6 percent from three in the regular season, but is knocking down 38 percent of his money ball attempts since the playoffs started.

Game 4 repercussions

Saturday night’s grudge match definitely didn’t lack physicality, as there was more than one instance where referees had to intervene and step in between various scuffles throughout the game.

One of those scuffles came early in the game when Anthony Morrow refused to hand over the basketball to Dallas’s Salah Mejri, which resulted in a few pushes between Morrow and Mejri along with Serge Ibaka and J.J. Barea. Both teams had to be separated by coaches in referees, but it was only the start of a heated evening.

The whole debacle clearly got Westbrook fired up and his stat line was the main beneficiary. But his ferocious play brought out some inner rage, which led to Westbrook yelling profanity at a Mavericks’ fan after Mejri immaturely pulled him down from behind after a layup. The NBA wasn’t too fond of the exchange with the fan, and slapped Westbrook with a whopping $25,000 dollar fine.

Russ appropriately fined $25K for yelling "inappropriate" effing language at Mav fan. KD appropriately fined $15K for inexcusable Flagrant 2

— Dean Blevins (@DeanBlevins) April 24, 2016

Westbrook wasn’t the only Thunder player who has to bring out the checkbook, as Kevin Durant was also fined $15,000 dollars for his fourth quarter flagrant 2 foul. Durant was ejected in the game’s final minute for a hard foul committed against Mavs’ rookie Justin Anderson, but Durant said after the game that he wasn't trying to hurt Anderson.

Also worth noting, Dirk Nowitzki got in his second scuffle in as many games after him and Ibaka had some words for each other late in the game. Nowitzki also got into it with guard Andre Roberson in Game 3. 

","published":"2016-04-25T01:25:55.000Z","updated":"2016-04-25T05:52:09.000Z","summary":"

The Thunder will have a chance to close out its first round series on Monday night at 7 p.m., but before we move forward, let’s look back on a few notable things from Saturday night’s Game 4 win. 

","affiliate":{"_id":"5cc353fe1c9d440000d3b70f","callSign":"kwtv","origin":"https://www.news9.com"},"contentClass":"sports_nba","createdAt":"2020-01-31T23:07:46.983Z","updatedAt":"2020-03-31T17:18:31.856Z","__v":1,"show":true,"link":"/story/5e34b342527dcf49dad8d97a/thunder:-more-thoughts-on-okcs-dominating-game-4-win","hasSchedule":false,"id":"5e34b342527dcf49dad8d97a"};