After a bitter end to the Boston Celtics season, I have begun watching more Dallas Mavericks games as the German Dirk Nowitzki is one of my favorite basketball players. Two of the reasons why I support Nowitzki is because of his strong German heritage and because he has been a great sharp-shooting power forward for the Dallas Mavericks ever since he was drafted by the team in 1998.
With the Mavericks still performing great basketball in the NBA playoffs, I was expecting continued dominance from the team when they played against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday night in Game 2. In the first quarter, the Mavericks were proving their case that they are the team to beat in 2011 as the Dallas team was strongly supported from their best players: J.J. Barea, Shawn Marion, and Nowitzki. Tyson Chandler also played great basketball and he ended up having a great night with 15 points, 13 rebounds and one assist. The Mavericks ended a strong first quarter with the score of 31-26.
Unlike the first quarter, the Thunder showed that they are equally as great of a basketball team as the Mavericks. Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Russell Westbrook all played stellar offense and defense throughout the second quarter. Coming off the bench, Harden played game-decisive basketball in the second quarter and throughout the game as he ended up with 23 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists. The Thunder ended up posting 33 points in the second quarter against the 26 points to close the half with the score of 59-57 in favor of Oklahoma City.
The third quarter was not spectacular at all as both teams played mediocre offense and struggled scoring baskets. Both teams only scored a combined 37 points and this is remarkable as Oklahoma scored 33 points in the second quarter alone. Dallas did outscore Oklahoma 19-18, but the score at the end of the third quarter was not in their favor as the score was 77-76. With only one quarter remaining, I was metaphorically nailed to my seat. Nowitzki was not playing his best basketball and was not nearly as good as Game 1, but the game was still close and I was eager to watch how the game would end.
With one quarter remaining, I was hoping for great basketball prowess and dominance from the “dunking Duetschman”. Despite being dominated by Durant and Harden, Nowitzki was a powerful force in the fourth quarter, but the Mavericks were not able to overcome a talented and athletic Thunder team. The Mavericks lost to the Thunder with the score of 106-100. Game 3 will take place in Oklahoma City on Saturday night at 9:00 PM on ESPN.
Jaime Aron, “Reserves spark Thunder to 1-1 series tie with Mavs”, Yahoo! Sports.