Dallas Mavericks’ head coach Rick Carlisle decided Wednesday afternoon that he’d be rest his starters for the that night’s matchup in Oklahoma City, and the home team took full advantage of a depleted Mavs’ roster as the Thunder easily coasted to a 108-89 Win.
While many assumed an outcome of those sorts was expected, there aren’t many who could’ve guessed how the domination ensued. To start, guard Andre Roberson—normally known as a defensive stopper-- decided to mix I up a bit on Wednesday with more offensive assertiveness, and that aggression lifted the Thunder early as Roberson reeled off nine quick points to build OKC’s lead to 10 after one quarter.
As odd as it was to see Roberson bring out his inner Tracy McGrady, it wasn’t even the weirdest thing that went down in the first half. While dribbling towards the paint in the second quarter, point guards Russell Westbrook and J.J. Barea got tangled up and had to be separated after pushes were exchanged. That mini-scuffle led to another shoving match between Charlie Villanueva and Serge Ibaka, which eventually led to the ejection of Villanueva from the game while technical fouls were handed to Westbrook, Barea and Ibaka.
When all the scuffling began the Thunder led by 13 points, but after Barea and company took a cheap shot at Westbrook, OKC used that disrespect to fuel them on a 17-to-5 run which was eventually halted after Westbrook was given his second technical after Westbrook slapped at Barea’s arm towards the end of the second quarter. Westbrook’s second technical foul meant he’s ejected, but his presence wasn’t needed against the short-handed Mavericks.
OKC took a 23-point lead into halftime, and only added salt to the Maverick’s wound throughout the rest of the second half. Kevin Durant and Ibaka took over a sloppy third quarter in which the Thunder finished out with an 83-64 lead.
Dallas kept fighting in the fourth quarter and clawed back within 14 points, but just to add to the unexpectedness of the evening, Kyle Singler came to the Thunder’s rescue. Singler drove to the basket and nailed a pull up jumper to start a Thunder run, and then Singler rattled home a 3-pointer on the next possession before assisting on a Morrow 3-pointer seconds later to springboard the Thunder lead back to 22 points. OKC’s reserves did most of the remaining damage as OKC improves to 28-12 on the year.
Durant led the way with 29 points and 10 rebounds, while Ibaka added 20 points and 11 rebounds. Due to the technical foul, Westbrook was held scoreless for the second time in his career, but still managed to dish out eight assists and grab seven rebounds in only 15 minutes of playing time. Dion Waiters was productive off the bench with 18 points and five assists.
The Mavericks were led by Barea’s 18 points and fall to 22-18 on the season.
OKC will be back in action on Friday night when they host the Timberwolves.