Dallas Mavericks Show Their Grit in Game 2
In a must-win game 2 after an ugly loss on Saturday, the Dallas Mavericks show up and grind their way to a win over the Oklahoma City Thunder
The Dallas Mavericks come back from an absolutely embarrassing game 1 loss in Oklahoma City to even the series at 1-1 heading home for game 3. Just when every person in the world was saying Dallas could not compete with the overly athletic Oklahoma City Thunder, they turn in a gritty performance led by tight defense on Kevin Durant and timely buckets by players across the board for an 85-84 win.
Dallas fell behind very early in game 1 and only hurt themselves further as the game went on. That was not the case in this game and Deron Williams made sure of it. At the end of the first quarter, the Mavs held a 24-20 lead thanks to 3 big three-pointers and 11 points total for the quarter.
The success continued through the second quarter only this time led primarily by Dirk Nowitzki, who scored 8 points in the period. Mavericks take the lead into halftime 45-43. Some great play by Justin Anderson including one of the best put-back dunks I have ever seen off a Devin Harris missed free throw, certainly helped with the slim lead.
Quarter 3 continued to plague the Mavericks as it has done so many times this season. What started as a 2-point lead, ended with a 3-point deficit for the Mavs who scored only 14 points in the period. Luckily, they were able to hold OKC to only 19. Tough defense and perhaps a little generosity from the refs made it a low scoring battle ending with a 62-59 deficit after 36 minutes.
The 4th quarter proved to be the difference in this game and Raymond Felton proved to be the difference maker. In crunch time, Felton found himself with the ball play after play and made big shots to keep the Mavs afloat. Harris, Felton, and Wesley Matthews all hit layups at big times of the game both to tie and take the lead for Dallas in the waning minutes. Solid defense by Wes, Anderson, and Salah Mejri were the icing on the cake as the Mavericks come away with the big win.
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HIGHLIGHT: The offensive play of Ray-Ray and the defensive play os Wessy-Wes were the real differences in this game. Felton managed to drop 21 points and 11 rebounds but the timeliness of many of the buckets were paramount to a Mavericks victory. On the other end of the court, Wes Matthews held Kevin Durant to only 21 points and 7-33 shooting from the field. Safe to say that is a good thing for Dallas.
LOWLIGHT: Free throw shooting and rebounding both plagued the Mavs in the win over the Thunder. Dallas was -9 on the boards which was actually a major step forward from game 1 but still frustrating, especially some of the more untimely offensive rebounds that were allowed by Steven Adams and Russell Westbrook. The Mavs were also 10-17 from the free throw line which cannot happen again if we want to win more games this series.
Next: How do the Dallas Mavericks Counter Best 1-2 Punch in the NBA?
The Mavericks will come home to Dallas for Game 3 of the series with it all knotted up 1-1. The game will be at the American Airlines Center on Thursday, April 21st at 6:00 pm Central Time. The game will also be televised on TNT.