Delayed collapse

It was early in the second quarter when Dirk Nowitzki came down hard, and for a while it looked like the Thunder would be avenged for an earlier loss to the Mavericks. By “for a while,” I mean “until the end of the third quarter,” at which point it was Oklahoma City 81, Dallas 79. But the absence of Dirkus Maximus was stunningly insignificant in the final twelve minutes, during which the Thunder managed to score a stunningly-insignificant twelve points, and the Mavs walked away with what seems like their 107th consecutive win, 103-93.

They did it by basically throwing everything they had at OKC: Shawn Marion posted a season high of 20 points, four other Mavericks finished in double figures, and lightly-used backup big Alexis Ajinça put up exactly one shot: a trey. Of course, it went in. The Mavs sank 11 of 23 treys while shooting 48.8 percent and missing only one free throw.

“We picked a bad time to miss shots,” said Scott Brooks laconically. The Thunder shot 42 percent, but only 22 percent in that last quarter. Kevin Durant did manage his usual 28, and OKC was at least within shrieking distance on most of the stats, even leading 38-32 in points in the paint, but when there’s a lid on the bucket, you do not win.

The Nets will be coming to The Court With No Name on Wednesday. Last time Oklahoma City played New Jersey, it went to three overtimes. I don’t think I have enough antacid on hand to go through that again.





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