The old men down the road

You had to figure that Dallas wasn’t going to keep losing to Oklahoma City indefinitely, and the Mavs defended their home court with something resembling vigor tonight, handing those young upstarts from Up North their first setback of the season, 100-87.

Thunder shooting was poor at 40.8 percent, and Thunder shooting from three-point range was ghastly at 26.3. (It didn’t help that Daequan Cook, who was unwell Saturday, was inactive tonight.) Turnovers were down, for once, but there’s something askew on any night where Kendrick Perkins outshoots Kevin Durant from the stripe. (Perk hit five of six, KD four of seven.) And the OKC bench was held to 25 points, all of them by guards James Harden and Eric Maynor, while the Dallas reserves contributed 47.

Obligatory Dirk reference: Yes, Dirk was there. Twenty-six points’ worth. He wasn’t too great with the long ball — one of five — but then he didn’t have to be. I have nightmares of Nowitzki aged a hundred and six, still hitting from 18 feet out, and I suspect fans of about 29 NBA teams do likewise.

The Trail Blazers come to town tomorrow, followed by two days off, and then a back-to-back-to-back: against Houston, against Houston again at their place, and then back home against San Antonio. The foreshortened season makes these things necessary; we can only hope that the players can make them bearable.

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