With the Boston Red Sox being completely dominated by the Chicago Cubs on Saturday night, I decided that it would be more enjoyable to watch the Dallas Mavericks play against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 3. Indeed, I was correct.
The Mavericks, led by Tyson Chandler and Shawn Marion, played dominant basketball against the Thunder in the first quarter. The first quarter was marked by great offensive basketball from the Mavericks and were especially helped by DeShawn Stevenson, Jason Kidd, and Marion. Marion scored eight points in the first quarter to help the Mavericks outscore the Thunder 27-12. I was completely shocked by the Mavericks great offensive authority and equally shocked that the Thunder was not capitalizing on scoring opportunities.
With a 15-point lead, I was expecting that the Mavericks would continue playing great basketball. Even though Dirk Nowitzki scored two points in the first quarter, I was expecting that Nowitzki would perform better. Nowitzki again scored two points in the second quarter, but the second quarter was much closer than the first. Catalyzed by Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, the Thunder was only outscored by one point in the second quarter, but still trailed at the end of the half with the score of 52-36.
At the beginning of the third quarter, I thought to myself that the Mavericks will most likely continue their excellent performance. With minutes into the third quarter, the Mavericks lead with the score of 58-38 and Marion was still playing at an all-star level. Marion finished the game with 18 points, four rebounds, four assists, two steals and blocks.
Oklahoma made a promising comeback run against Dallas late in the third and fourth quarter. Down by fourteen points at the end of the third, the fourth quarter started with Durant and Westbrook scoring with purpose and diligence. The Thunder was making talented and brilliant shots and was nailing them with expertise. With three minutes remaining, the Maverick’s lead was cut down to 84-78. I personally believed that the Mavericks were exhausted and would soon be trailing to the Thunder. However, the Mavericks remained composure and were actually helped by Nowitzki who contributed four out of his 18 points in the last three minutes. The Mavericks curtailed a strong and promising comeback from the Thunder and was victorious with the score of 93-87. Game 4 will be played in Oklahoma City on Monday night and the tipoff will be 9 pm on ESPN. For the fourth game, I will make a bold prediction and predict that the Mavericks will score at least fifteen more points against the Thunder.
Jeff Latzke, “Mavericks avoid collapse, beat Thunder 93-87”, Yahoo! Sports.