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Thunder 99, Mavs 95

by Darnell Mayberry Modified: April 12, 2013 at 5:55 pm •  Published: January 6, 2011

Nuggets from my notebook from Thursday’s win at Dallas.

  • With a minute and a half left in this one, the Mavs were sitting on 31 second-half points. DeShawn Stevenson then made three 3-pointers to make the final score look more respectable than it should have been. But those 31 second-half points were a testament to how great the Thunder’s second half defense was. Said Thunder coach Scott Brooks: “That was the problem. We only played defense in the second half…It takes 48 minutes of that type of effort. And it’s hard to do but you have to do it.”
  • This from our man Berry Tramel: the thunder’s defense was so bad in the first half that not a single starter registered a foul. I’m not sure that’s not some kind of record.
  • The Thunder got back to moving the ball in this one. The ball movement was absolutely excellent. Players were making plays for others, and it made a big difference. Eric Maynor did a great job of getting guys involved, and his efforts shouldn’t be forgotten.
  • How big was Serge Ibaka tonight? He had 13 points and eight boards in 24 minutes. He had some huge dunks and did a great job of helping OKC control the paint with five offensive rebounds. His putback of Russell Westbrook’s miss with 4:23 left was a game-changer. It ended a 6-0 Dallas run that helped the Mavs pull within six. Kevin Durant hit a jumper on the next trip to put the Thunder back up 10. Big-time performance by Ibaka.
  • Got to give credit to Jeff Green for bouncing back after a brutal outing in Memphis. His 16 points on 17 shots won’t knock your socks off. But he battled and, after failing to secure a single rebound against the Griz, pulled down nine tonight.
  • Not every day you see someone draw a charge on Nick Collison. It’s generally the other way around. But that’s what happened when Brian Cardinal slid under Collison to prevent a layup late in the first quarter. Strange, strange sighting.
  • Every time Shawn Marion shot, I could have swore it was a pass.
  • Marion was knocking them down, though. He had 21 points on 10-for-12 shooting in the first half. His season high before Thursday night’s 25-point effort was 22 points.
  • After ending the first quarter down by seven, the Thunder began the second quarter with a turnover and gave up an and one at the other end. It put OKC behind, 33-23, its largest deficit of the game. And at that point, it looked like one of those nights.
  • Please, please, please, Thunder heads. Don’t start with the, ‘We should have gotten Brendan Haywood” routine. You know who you are. His moments, I repeat, moments, tonight might have made you go into a tizzy. The guy is making $42 million over five years! And that’s not counting the $10.5 million team option he has for 2015-16. I’d say that’s pretty good coin to average 3.9 points and 5.0 rebounds. My money is on Haywood never averaging seven points and seven rebounds in 65-plus games in a season for the life of his current contract.
  • I love, love, love the microphone behind the rims at American Airlines Center. Bricks are more embarrassing. Swishes are super cool.
  • Word of advice for NBA fans. If you have never been to a game in Dallas, plan a trip. The Mavs have a great atmosphere and really know how to entertain during the game. (That’s not taking anything away from the Thunder).
  • Tyson Chandler nearly had as many rebounds in the first quarter (seven) as the Thunder had as a team (nine).
  • Wonder if any Mavs fans out there are ticked because Dallas didn’t keep Byron Mullens?
  • James Harden had his career-best 12 game streak of double digit scoring snapped tonight. He had seven points on 1-for-6 shooting. Figures he’d throw up a dud the day I write that he’s showing signs of consistency.
  • Nenad Krstic had a season-high nine rebounds. Thunder will be in good shape if Green and Krstic pulled down nine apiece a night.
  • Do fans at home notice how much more drawn out games are when it’s a nationally televised game? Or do the commercial breaks make it feel the same?
  • There was a significant sign of how big Durant is becoming. Following his post-game interview with TNT’s Craig Sager, a large crowd waited for Durant over the tunnel. They roared as he walked back to the locker room. Granted, much of that gathering could have been old Texas fans. But it was huge and it was telling.


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by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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