The Dallas Mavericks and Oklahoma City Thunder did a repeat performance of December’s overtime battle as the surging Mavericks played the NBA’s best team close but in the end, succumbed 117-114.
The Mavericks fell behind as much as 15 points and trailed by as many as 9 in the 3rd quarter but battled back to take the lead before the teams eventually ended regulation knotted up, going into overtime for the second consecutive time. The Mavericks stayed close despite very poor shooting nights by both Dirk Nowitzki and O. J. Mayo, who shot a combined 11-for-35.
Ultimately the Thunder prevailed on Kevin Durant’s career high 52 points, his second career 50-point performance and first this season. The Mavericks had a chance for the final shot but it was taken and missed with 6 seconds left from well behind the arc by Mike James, only recently signed to a second 10-day contract.
Durant added 9 rebounds while Russell Westbrook chipped in 31 points and 6 assists. Serge Ibaka had 11 points and 14 rebounds.
The Mavericks again had a balanced attack. Vince Carter scored a season-high 29 points off the bench. Dirk and Mayo each added 18, mostly from the free throw line and late in the game. Elton Brand notched his 401st double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds.
Full breakdown coming up on The Smoking Cuban.