Culture of Hoops

Dallas Mavericks snap 11-game losing streak to Oklahoma City Thunder

Image courtesy of Scott Mecum/Flickr.

Image courtesy of Scott Mecum/Flickr.

The Dallas Mavericks clearly took advantage of a Russell Westbrook-less Oklahoma City Thunder and gleefully handed them their largest margin of defeat this season (a 23-point loss). The Thunder were down by 21 points headed into the fourth and couldn’t find their stride against Dirk Nowitzki’s fade-away jumpers and Vince Carter’s all-net three-pointers, who sailed off the bench with 18 points. Even Kevin Durant’s 30 points couldn’t hold his offense, which fell to the Mavericks, 109-86. It was plain to see that OKC was not expecting these particular Mavericks to charge their home court and annihilate whomever stood in their path.

Thunder fans were left wondering when their team was actually going to show up to, you know, play as the minutes dissipated in the fourth. This was a team that even had a winning record without Westbrook, who coach Scott Brooks decided to rest for the game after returning from knee surgery back in February—but you couldn’t tell.

The Mavericks hadn’t beaten Oklahoma City since January 2, 2012.

Dallas dominated early in the first as they took a 29-23 lead and were 4-of-8 from the three-point range. OKC closed the gap 50-46 before the end of the first half by rallying behind Durant and Serge Ibaka (19 points), but the Mavs would dart on a 9-2 run to end the second quarter. Dallas shot 54.2 percent from the field by the end of the third and led OKC 91-70 before officially dropping the hammer in the fourth. This performance was a vivid change from Wednesday’s game against the sleepy Utah Jazz where the Mavericks narrowly beat the home team 108-101. It must be said that the Thunder were also short Kendrick Perkins and Thabo Sefolosha in addition to Westbrook, though OKC isn’t blaming the loss on their absence, but rather on a lack of energy.

The win moves Dallas (40-27) back up into seventh in the Western Conference standings in front of the Memphis Grizzlies (39-17), while Oklahoma City (48-18) falls two games behind the first place San Antonio Spurs.

The Mavericks look to rally up their wins with an eight-game homestand, starting Monday when they play the Boston Celtics at the American Airlines Center. OKC moves on to visit the Chicago Bulls with a rested Westbrook.

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