Basketball is a game of ups and downs, and Wednesday’s Western Conference showdown between the Thunder and Mavericks was the perfect example of that, as Oklahoma City walked away with a 116-103 win.
After leading for the entirety of the game’s first 27 minutes, the Thunder team found themselves back on their heels once the Mavericks roared back and take their first lead of the evening with 8:56 left in the third quarter.
Over the next 4:47 both teams took turns holding the lead until OKC finally decided they had seen enough. At the 4:09 mark in the frame, Steven Adams dunked in two of his eleven points in the quarter as the Thunder took the lead back for the final time in the game.
Interviewing Steven Adams while he was eating a corn bread muffin may have been my highlight of the night. #News9Thunder— Steve McGehee (@SteveMcGehee) February 25, 2016
Adams’ emphatic dunk ignited a relentless 26-to-7 run by the Thunder that left Mavericks fans searching for the exit a bit sooner than they all expected. Enes Kanter was a big part of that run as he helped start the fourth quarter off the right way with an and-1 basket, and then a tip-in layup on the next possession to put the Thunder up 91-81.
Melt down in Dallas, Dallas fans are up and out. #News9Thunder— Steve McGehee (@SteveMcGehee) February 25, 2016
While Kanter was having his way in the post, Dion Waiters climbed out of his slump in a big way by knocking down shot after shot from the perimeter while appearing to regain its confidence. In a blink of an eye OKC was up 105-83, but Dallas wasn’t going to go away without a fight.
I left press row to go check on the #Thunder..just in time to see my Main Man DionWaiters hit back-2-back jumpers. Then pinched myself. Ouch— Dean Blevins (@DeanBlevins) February 25, 2016
Led by Raymond Felton and Wesley Matthews, the Mavericks went on a 14-to-0 run to get within eight points, but the Thunder conveniently have a guy named Kevin Durant on their roster. The former league MVP took matters into his own hands and drained a deep 25-foot three pointer to put OKC back up by 11 points and give his team enough confidence to finish off the job, as they won by 13 on the road.
Both Durant and Russell Westbrook totaled 24 points each while KD added eight rebounds and Westbrook completed the double-double with 13 assists. Adams scored 15 points and grabbed seven rebounds, while Kanter and Waiters each tallied 14 points off the bench.
Mavericks’ legend Dirk Nowitzki had a monster game with 33 points while Matthews added 14 points of his own. Dallas forward and former Florida Gator, Chandler Parsons, found himself in foul trouble early in the first quarter and was limited to only six points.
The Thunder (41-6) will have a quick turnaround as they take on the Pelicans in New Orleans on Thursday night.