Oklahoma City Cruises Past Dallas Mavericks In Preseason Opener

Sunday, December 18th 2011, 10:39 pm
By: News 9

Grant Belcher, News9.com

DALLAS – It's hard to put too much stock into a preseason game, but then again it's hard for fans not to get a little bit excited about it as well.

The Thunder looked impressive in their first preseason game on Sunday evening, cruising past the defending world champion Mavericks 106-92 at the American Airlines Center.

OKC showed little rust shooting the basketball after the lockout caused an extended break. The Thunder shot 56 percent in the game, including 65 percent in the first half. They also shot 48 percent from the 3-point line in the game.

Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd didn't play for the Mavericks, but that didn't take away from the fact that Oklahoma City dominated the game in nearly every facet.

The game was close throughout the first quarter and OKC led by one heading into the second.

But the Thunder outscored the Mavs 22-10 over the first seven minutes of the second and didn't face much adversity for the remainder of the game.

Oklahoma City led by as many as 23 late in the third quarter.

Kevin Durant, with all his offseason pickup game glory under his belt, didn't miss a beat offensively. He led all scorers with 21 points on 80 percent shooting in just 23 minutes of playing time.

Kendrick Perkins, who has dropped 35 pounds since the end of last year, showed that difference in the game, looking much more agile and in better shape. He displayed a couple of offensive post moves and even a little bit of ball handling on his way to eight points, eight boards and two blocks in 22 minutes.

James Harden had 16 points off the bench and Daequan Cook hit four 3s.

OKC's only weak spot was 25 turnovers, leading to 33 extra points for Dallas.

The two teams will meet again on Tuesday in Oklahoma City for their final preseason game before the season opens on Christmas Day. Tipoff for Tuesday is set for 7 p.m.