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A "long" Thunder defense keeps Mavs from showcasing offense

A 31-pound-lighter perkins proved a great defensive asset in shutting down Dallas Maverick's multi-layered offense in game 1 of the 2012 NBA playoffs against the Thunder
John Rohde Modified: April 29, 2012 at 9:13 am •  Published: April 29, 2012

"They always do that," Dallas reserve center Ian Mahinmi said. "Every time we play OKC this year, when it comes down to the last two minutes, Perk is on Dirk, so we're used to that. We're going to take advantage of that. Personally, I think Dirk is quicker than Kendrick Perkins and we're going to try to take advantage of that."

Prior to be hounded by Perkins, Serge Ibaka played commendably as OKC's primary defender on Nowitzki. Nick Collison also came in on relief.

Asked what it's like to be defended by Ibaka and Perkins, Nowitzki said: "They're both long. One time I drove middle on Perk and I think Harden came over and got his hand on the ball. The other time I came off a down screen. I read the play wrong. I thought that Perk might have trailed me so I tried to go middle but he shot the gap so he was right there when I came and poked the ball out."

Nowitzki still finished with 25 points, shooting 8 for 18 from the field and 9 for 10 at the free-throw line.

The primary problem in the fourth quarter, Nowitzki said, was the Mavs' inability to get the ball to sixth man Jason Terry, who shot 8 for 10 from the field, 4 for 5 from 3-point range and finished with 20 points, but had just one field-goal attempt in the fourth period.

"So (we've) got the keep attacking and we've got to find a way to get Jet (Jason Terry) the ball," Nowitzki said. "He had the hot hand and we couldn't even get him the ball in the fourth quarter. They denied him everywhere and we've got to counter that."


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