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Game 72: Mavs vs. Thunder presented-by-bbva-2 Subscribe via RSS

Nowitzki Triumphs Over Thunder In Overtime

Thunder vs. Mavericks: Dirk Nowitzki scores 32 points and grabs 11 rebounds with Jose Calderon adding 22 points with 6 triples as the Mavericks top the Thunder in overtime 128-119.

DALLAS — After suffering a 107-104 overtime loss Sunday to the Brooklyn Nets to slip to 2-2 on their current eight-game homestand, the Dallas Mavericks found themselves on the outside looking into the Western Conference playoff picture.

Sitting in the ninth position in the West standings, the Mavericks tried to move back into the postseason equation Tuesday night in front of a national TV audience. However, the Mavs faced yet another formidable foe as the Oklahoma City Thunder traveled south on Interstate 35 to renew the Red River rivalry.

The Mavericks (43-29) then proceeded to overcome being pushed into overtime for the third time in four games, scratching and clawing their way to a 128-119 victory to win the season series 2-1.

“That was a heck of a game and fun to be a part of,” 12-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki said after the win. “It was a great win, especially after we just lost two overtime games. It was a great win against a great team, so that was awesome.”

Catching the visitors on the second night of a back-to-back and looking to duplicate a 109-86 win in Oklahoma City on March 16, the Mavericks hoped to contain the Thunder’s duo of scoring leader Kevin Durant and point guard Russell Westbrook in the opening quarter. But, after Westbrook sat out the previous meeting to rest his surgically-repaired right knee, the Dallas defense faced another daunting challenge. 

The Mavericks would prove to be up to the task, forcing Westbrook into five turnovers and two fouls in the first quarter. The same couldn’t be said for Durant, however, as the three-time scoring champion posted 12 points in the period. Meanwhile, Mavs point guard Jose Calderon returned to the floor after exiting Sunday’s loss 45 seconds into the game due to a facial injury. And with Nowitzki making amends for his 2-of-12 shooting performance against the Nets, the Mavericks took a 28-24 edge into the second period.

With the game knotted at 32-all, the Thunder (52-19) grabbed their first lead of the night on Reggie Jackson’s driving three-point play over Mavs big man Brandan Wright early in the second stanza. Westbrook then returned to the court in time for he and Calderon to exchange 3-point bombs as the two teams traded haymakers.

Postgame: Dirk Nowitzki

Mavs F Dirk Nowitzki weighs in on Tuesday's win over Oklahoma City, having his shooting coach Holger Geschwindner back in town and more.

Sixth man Vince Carter then lent some assistance, adding to a Calderon trey with back-to-back 3-pointers of his own to bring the Mavs even with the Thunder at 57-57. But, despite finishing the first half on an 11-3 run, the Mavericks found themselves down 60-59 at the midway mark.

Led by Durant’s 20 first-half points on 7-of-10 shooting, the Thunder’s 57.1 percent from the field as a team bettered the Mavs’ 48.8 percent. Meanwhile, Calderon did his best to keep the Mavericks close, scoring 16 points on 5-of-6 shooting.

After forcing a fourth foul of the night on Serge Ibaka with 11:00 left in the third, the Mavs were free to penetrate the lane without the presence of the shot-blocking big man. But, with Durant and Westbrook clicking on all cylinders, it would take every bit of Nowitzki’s best efforts to keep the Mavs in the game.

The 7-footer then found center Samuel Dalembert for an empathic slam to lift the Mavericks to a 76-73 edge with 6:07 remaining in the period in the midst of an 11-0 run. Still, following a late Oklahoma City flurry, the Mavs found themselves on the downside of an 89-84 score entering the final quarter.

After second-year standout Jae Crowder drained a 3-pointer from the wing to open the fourth, Nowitzki quickly tied the game up with a vintage jumper. Reserve guard Devin Harris then drove into the lane, drawing a fifth foul on Ibaka and converting a three-point play to put the Mavs up 92-91 with 8:55 left to play.

Mavs 2-guard Monta Ellis took it from there, reassuming his role as the team’s closer down the stretch. But the Thunder wouldn’t fade, inching within two on Derek Fisher’s corner 3-pointer to trim the Mavericks’ edge to 103-101.

Westbrook’s attacking play then forced his way to the charity stripe, giving the Thunder a 105-104 edge with 2:34 remaining. Nowitzki quickly answered, scoring on back-to-back possessions before a Fisher 3-pointer tied the game at 108-all.

A steal by Westbrook would send the ball back over to the Thunder after taking it away from Nowitzki, leading to a trey from Durant out of a timeout with 39.9 ticks left for the Mavericks to respond. And respond the Mavericks would, getting a 3-pointer from Calderon after Wright collected an offensive board following Nowitzki’s miss.

Postgame: Jose Calderon

Mavs PG Jose Calderon dishes on his performance against the Thunder after missing the last game due to injury, how meaningful the next couple weeks are and more.

“It felt good from the beginning,” Calderon said of the game-tying shot, “but until you see that ball going in you still wait for that. I was feeling really comfortable with my shot the whole night, so it was great.”

And after Wright also grabbed the rebound following Westbrook’s miss at the other end, the Mavs had 1.8 seconds left to win it. But Nowitzki’s trey attempt at the other end would draw all iron, sending the Mavericks to overtime for the second straight game.

With Westbrook sitting to start the extra period after meeting a minutes restriction, Calderon was free to assert himself early in overtime. Nowitzki also began to put his team on his back, until four-time All-Star forward Shawn Marion’s fadeaway put the Mavs up 120-113 with 2:03 left to hang on.

But it would be Nowitzki who would deliver the dagger, draining a 3-pointer over Durant to lift the Mavericks to a 123-115 advantage with 57.2 seconds remaining. Carter and Ellis then put the finishes touches on the win with clutch strokes at the foul line.

Scoring 32 points on 11-of-23 shooting, Nowitzki led seven Mavs in double figures while filling up the stat sheet with 10 rebounds, six assists and four steals.

“Even though there in the fourth I missed a bunch of shots in a row, I was just in attack mode tonight,” a modest Nowitzki said of his night. “I was going to keep coming and I was going to keep shooting whatever I got my hands on.”

“He played great and he carried us. His emotion and his attitude carried the team,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle added while summing up Nowitzki’s effort.

Hitting seven of his 10 shots from the field and six of nine from behind the 3-point arc, Calderon pitched in 22 points and eight assists while not committing a turnover. Ellis added 17 points in the first unit and Carter recorded 16 points off the bench. Meanwhile, Marion finished with 11 points and Dalembert and Crowder added 10 points apiece.

Durant led six Thunder scorers in double figures with 43 points on 15-of-27 shooting, hitting five of his 11 3-point attempts. But the Mavs’ 50 percent shooting as a team just bettered the Thunder’s 49.5 percent, adding a 48-38 rebounding edge and scoring 19 points off Oklahoma City’s 21 turnovers while giving up 23 points on 20 giveaways at the other end.

“We had some tough stretches, but we just hung in there and kept battling,” Carlisle concluded. “Obviously, we need the win. I’m just real proud of the way the guys battled the whole way through it.”

“You just have to grind it out,” Nowitzki added. “We knew this team was good and they’re going to keep making plays. They always keep coming, so it was just a fun game to be a part of. Both teams were competing at the highest level and it was definitely a fun game.”

Note: The Mavericks return to action at American Airlines Center on Thursday, hosting the Los Angeles Clippers. The Clippers lead season series 2-0. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 7:30 p.m. CT. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting Mavs.com.

Oklahoma City Thunder
PLAYER MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
Kevin Durant, F5015-275-118-814561053-1343
Serge Ibaka, F325-90-00-223510115-1010
Steven Adams, C101-10-00-011210021-32
Andre Roberson, G130-10-00-012311003-120
Russell Westbrook, G328-182-65-616783085-1623
Reggie Jackson415-110-41-105581025-911
Caron Butler334-102-60-004412102010
Derek Fisher275-93-60-0000000131313
Nick Collison223-70-01-24371102357
Perry Jones00-00-00-00000000000
Jeremy Lamb00-00-00-00000000000
Kendrick Perkins00-00-00-00000000000
Thabo Sefolosha00-00-00-00000000000
Mustafa Shakur00-00-00-00000000000
Hasheem Thabeet00-00-00-00000000000
TOTALS FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF   PTS
46-9312-3315-1910283827922130 119
49.5%36.4%78.9%
Dallas Mavericks
PLAYER MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
Shawn Marion, F415-111-40-0156210111211
Dirk Nowitzki, F3811-232-88-81910641641532
Samuel Dalembert, C215-60-00-043711123910
Monta Ellis, G426-150-35-7123540431417
Jose Calderon, G367-106-92-2044800012122
Vince Carter264-114-94-605512142-216
Devin Harris172-40-11-102210000-125
DeJuan Blair80-10-02-211210024-122
Jae Crowder114-62-40-012300002-310
Brandan Wright201-30-01-23362211233
Wayne Ellington00-00-00-00000000000
Bernard James00-00-00-00000000000
Shane Larkin00-00-00-00000000000
Ricky Ledo00-00-00-00000000000
Gal Mekel00-00-00-00000000000
TOTALS FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF   PTS
45-9015-3823-28123648271442022 128
50.0%39.5%82.1%

Postgame: Dirk Nowitzki

Mavs F Dirk Nowitzki weighs in on Tuesday's win over Oklahoma City, having his shooting coach Holger Geschwindner back in town and more.

 

Postgame: Jose Calderon

Mavs PG Jose Calderon dishes on his performance against the Thunder after missing the last game due to injury, how meaningful the next couple weeks are and more.

 

Dunkin’ Dalembert

Dirk Nowitzki makes the bullet feed in the lane to a cutting Samuel Dalembert who flies in for the tomahawk jam.

 

Dish It Up

Dirk Nowitzki works on the block then makes the bullet pass under the rim to Shawn Marion who gets the uncontested bucket.

 

Shootaround: Devin Harris

Mavs G Devin Harris weighs in on tonight's keys to victory against Oklahoma City, matching up against Russell Westbrook, improving late-game execution and more.

 

Shootaround: Rick Carlisle

Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle previews Tuesday night's matchup against the Thunder and says Jose Calderon is feeling better and ready to go.

DALLAS — Set to square off for a third time this season, both the Dallas Mavericks and Oklahoma City Thunder are expected to be bolstered by the return of starting point guards to their perspective lineups.

Losing first-string floor general Jose Calderon 45 seconds into Sunday’s 107-104 overtime loss to Brooklyn due to a facial injury following an inadvertent elbow from Nets center Mason Plumlee, the Mavericks (42-29) were delighted to see the veteran guard go through all of the team’s Tuesday morning walkthrough. And with the pass-first guard expected to play, the Mavs will try to duplicate their 109-86 win in Oklahoma City on March 16.

“You know, we’re fortunate. It could have been much worse,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said of Calderon’s injury. “It’s pretty clear he’s got some swelling there where he got hit, but he wants to play and all the tests and everything checked out to where it’s nothing he can’t play with, so we’re lucky.”

However, the Mavericks will unluckily see the return of Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook as well, after the athletic former All-Star sat out the matchup between the two teams nine days prior to rest his surgically-repaired right knee. And with containing Westbrook at the top of Carlisle’s to-do list, the Mavericks will try to improve to 3-2 on their current eight-game homestand by quieting the Thunder (52-18) in order to remain afloat in the playoff race.

“You know, he’s a great player,” Carlisle said of Westbrook. “He’s another athletic attacker, so it raises the level of their game a lot. We know that and we’ve got to be ready. It’s just going to be a lot of one-on-one defense, getting back and hoping they miss a lot of the shots, because with their speed and athleticism they just come down and jump over you. And so we’ve got to be in good position and we’ve got to rebound.”

“You’ve just got to try to make [Westbrook] take tough shots without fouling him,” Mavs reserve guard Devin Harris added. “He’s so aggressive posting up and he handles the ball a lot, so you just try to keep him out of the paint as much as you can and make him take tough shots.” 

Note: The Mavericks return to action at American Airlines Center on Tuesday, hosting the Oklahoma City Thunder. The season series is tied at 1-1. The game will air nationally on TNT at 7 p.m. CT. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting Mavs.com.

DALLAS – Coming off their second overtime loss through four outings of an eight-game homestand, things don’t get any easier for the Dallas Mavericks.

Following Sunday’s 107-104 overtime defeat at the hands of the Brooklyn Nets, the Mavericks (42-29) will try to get back on track after falling to 2-2 on their current homestand. However, in order to get back in the win column Tuesday night, the Mavs will have to conquer a daunting task while trying to take down the Oklahoma City Thunder for a second time in a span of nine days.

“We’re going to take it one game at a time,” Mavs 2-guard Monta Ellis said after scoring 32 points in Sunday’s loss. “This is not the time to panic. We’ve got a lot of games ahead. We’ve still got four more home games (on this homestand) and we’ll try to get these four. But we’re going to take it one game at a time and keep pushing to our goal and where we need to go.”

Suffering a 107-93 defeat back on Nov. 6 in Oklahoma City, the Mavericks would exact their revenge with a 109-86 road victory on March 16 while taking advantage of Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook’s scheduled day of rest. Now, after ending an 11-game losing streak against the Thunder (52-18), the Mavs will attempt to send a message should the two squads square off again in the playoffs.

Entering the night in the ninth spot of the Western Conference standings with the tiebreaker leaning in Phoenix’s favor, the Mavs will step onto their home hardwood admittedly in need of a win. However, with Westbrook expected to return to the lineup after sitting out the Thunder’s 117-96 home victory over Denver on Monday to rest his surgically-repaired right knee, the Mavs figure to have their hands full while trying to remain afloat in the playoff picture.

“Last week was last week and this is a new game here,” forward Shawn Marion explained. “Westbrook didn’t play last game, so I’m pretty sure he’s going to play this next game. We still have to have the same mindset and go out there and try to make it hard for them, compete and try to get this win.”

Note: The Mavericks return to action at American Airlines Center on Tuesday, hosting the Oklahoma City Thunder. The season series is tied at 1-1. The game will air nationally on TNT at 7 p.m. CT. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting Mavs.com.