Dirk & Durant Duel, But Mavs Top Thunder

Tuesday, March 25th 2014, 11:45 pm
By: News 9

Kevin Durant was spectacular again.  Russell Westbrook was back in the lineup. Derek Fisher was clutch. Plenty went well for the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday in Dallas. 

But not the final score. 

Dirk Nowitzki scored 32 points, grabbed 10 boards, dished out six assists and ripped away four steals as the Dallas Mavericks took down the Thunder 128-119 in overtime. 

It was a nail-biter throughout. The Mavericks led 28-24 after one, but the Thunder exploded for 36 points in the second to seize a 60-59 lead at the half. Oklahoma City extended its lead to five after the third, but the Mavs stormed right back.

Dallas opened the fourth with back-to-back buckets in the first minute and change and all of the sudden the game was tied at 89-89. The Mavs kept their foot on the gas, taking a 101-94 lead with 5:09 remaining.

The Thunder responded, clawing to within 103-101 on Derek Fisher's clutch 3-pointer with 3:28 to play. With 1:07 to go and the Thunder down three, Fisher drained another 3-ball to tie it up. Durant followed with a long-range bomb to give OKC a 3-point lead, but Jose Calderon tied it up with 26 seconds to force overtime.

After playing right up to his 30-minute cap, Westbrook did not start the overtime period for OKC. Speaking of the extra session, it didn't go well for Oklahoma City. Two Nowitzki free throws and another Calderon 3-ball put Dallas up five in a hurry. Ibaka answered with a dunk, but Nowitzki and Marion jumpers extended Dallas' lead to seven.

Despite the minutes cap, Scott Brooks subbed Westbrook back into the game with a little less than two minutes to go. It didn't make much of a difference as the Mavs cruised to the win.

"I'm not a dummy, I want our best players in there throughout the game," Brooks said of his overtime lineups. "But the (minute cap) plan was in place."

Durant finished with 43 points, marking the 36th straight game he has scored 25 or more points. He is four such games away from Michael Jordan's NBA record of 40 straight. 

Westbrook officially played 33 minutes, in which he scored 23 points, handed out eight assists and committed eight turnovers.  Reggie Jackson added 11 points and eight boards off the Thunder bench, while Fisher added 13 and Caron Butler 12. 

Nowitzki was spectacular, but he had plenty of help. Especially from Calderon, who finished with 22 points on 7-10 shooting and eight helpers.  Seven Mavs finished in double figures. 

The loss drops OKC to 52-19 while the Mavs improved to 43-29.