Kevin Durant beats the Dallas Mavericks in Game One with a Members Bounce
Kevin Durant did in the Dallas Mavericks again last night in game one of the Mavs first round match-up with the Oklahoma City Thunder. It was another classic game between these teams separated by 189 miles on the map and who are quickly becoming a great geographical rivalry. The game was nip and tuck the entire way with the Mavs taking a seven point lead late in the fourth quarter. A 9-2 run by OKC topped off by a thunderous dunk by Durant on a feed from James Hardin tied the score at 94 with about a minute left. Durant finished the game with scoring 25 points, grabbing 6 boards, four blocks and four dimes. He wasn’t the only Thunder player that had it going last night as OKC’s big three all had great games, which actually speaks well towards the Mav’s chances in this series. Most pundits thought that if OKC was getting contributions from all three the Thunder are almost unbeatable. Well, the Mavs took OKC’s best shot last night in that department and hung right with the Thunder the whole game.
After a Kevin Durant three-point play the Thunder were up 97-96 and with nine seconds to go, the Mavs got the ball to Dirk who did exactly what he needed to by creating his shot opportunity and drawing a foul. Dirk converted the free throws, putting the Mavericks up 98-97. Then the dagger came again. Kevin Durant took the ball at mid-court and with the Mavericks’ Shawn Marion checking him, made his way inside the three-point circle and launched a shot over Marion that bounced high off the rim and in with 1.5 seconds left. The Mavs were unable to make their way up the court to get a good look at the basket in such short time. This was the second time Kevin Durant beat the Mavs at the buzzer this year as he hit a three-pointer with no time on the clock to beat the Mavs the first week of the season in Dallas.
After the game, Dallas Mavericks Head Coach Rick Carlisle talked about the final play saying, “At the end we wanted (Shawn) Marion guarding him (Durant) and he made a tough shot. The other option was to double-team him and obviously that’s what we should have done so that’s on me. But we’re gonna keep comin’ at these guys. We just didn’t get it done tonight. We’re gonna come out guns blazin’ every game.”
The Mavericks were led by Dirk Nowitzki’s 25 points. Dallas also had big nights from Jason Terry with 20 points on 8-for-10 shooting and Shawn Marion chipped in 17. Terry was hot all night but was not utilized in the fourth quarter at all, only putting up one shot that was missed.
The series resumes again Monday night around 8:30 CT on TNT. The Dallas Mavericks really need a win in that game to get them in this series. After a gut wrenching loss like Saturday night that is going to be a tall order, but this is a heart of a champion we are talking about. Don’t count the Mavs out yet.