This being the last game of the season series, Thunder fans were hoping for a sweep, and some of us were hoping for a big night for Derek Fisher, given Mark Cuban’s avowed butthurt over Fisher’s signing with OKC. As seemingly always with the Mavs, it was scary close most of the night — nobody at any point got close to a double-digit lead — and at the 1:20 mark it was tied 101-all. Twenty seconds later, Russell Westbrook hit a jumper from 17 feet; the Mavs burned up 24 seconds without so much as touching the rim; and then Thabo Sefolosha’s fadeaway over O. J. Mayo put the Thunder up four with 12.5 left. Another empty Dallas possession, and with 2.2 left, Kevin Durant swished two free throws to finish the job, 107-101. Sweep accomplished.
Dallas did what they could: they made all 16 of their free throws, executed a remarkable 13 steals, and did better from the three-point line than OKC. (The Mavs hit nine of 21, the Thunder only four of 21.) And Dirk, perhaps a little past his prime, is still Dirk: 8-10 shooting, seven rebounds, 23 points. The Dallas bench kicked in 40 points, and might have done more had they not lost Rodrigue Beaubois early to a finger issue, and no, Roddy wasn’t smarting off to the refs. Worse, Shawn Marion’s missed two games now with a calf problem.
But ultimately, the Thunder had the Mavs’ number yet again. Durant wound up with 31; Russell Westbrook, at his all-over-the-place best, nailed 35; Serge Ibaka had 18 points, 16 rebounds, and just for fun blocked three shots. Derek Fisher? Two points and three fouls in twelve and a half minutes, which goes to show you can’t have everything.
The good news: the Thunder are back home Tuesday night. The bad news: the Denver Nuggets, only five games back in the Northwest after winning 11 straight, will be dropping by.