Vintage Dirk Leads Dallas Mavericks to Second Straight Victory
By Paul Wang
A throwback performance from the German Wunderkind led an inspired Mavericks squad to a 97-81 victory over the Thunder.
The old man’s still got it.
Dirk Nowitzki faked out Russell Westbrook, took one dribble and splashed home a beautiful mid range jumper to start the Mavericks’ scoring. It would be the script for the rest of the game.
The timeless wonder led one of the Mavericks’ most impressive outings of the season by posting a season-high 19 points along with 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals.
Four other Mavericks reached double figures (Barnes, Smith, Matthews and Powell) as the Mavericks balanced attack dismantled a disjointed Thunder squad. The ever-so-formidable Russell Westbrook was a one man wrecking crew, posting 28 points, 12 rebounds and 9 assists.
However, his superstar sidekicks Paul George and Carmelo Anthony were uncharacteristically quiet. George turned in a season-worst 2 point performance while Anthony finished with an ineffectual 16 points and four turnovers.
The Mavericks’ active hands (season-high 11 steals) and inspired defensive effort limited OKC’s usually potent offense to just 36.3% shooting for the night. Dallas also won the battle of the boards 43-39 and the assist battle 25-24. Salah Mejri turned in 4 blocks for the night as he always tends to do against the Thunder.
With tonight’s victory, Dallas has strung together consecutive wins for the first time this season. Barring a late collapse against Boston, the Mavericks would have been owners of a very impressive four game win streak.
Over the past four contests, the Mavs have played fantastic basketball — averaging 103.2 points while limiting opponents to just 89. If the team can sustain this level of play, Dallas will be shooting up the standings in no time.
Next: Overcoming Adversity is Nothing New for Salah Mejri
The Mavs will look to extend their winning ways on Monday against the Spurs in San Antonio. Tip-off is at 7:30 pm CT.