Mavs 111, Thunder 103
Nuggets from my notebook from Wednesday’s loss to Dallas.
- Watching Tyson Chandler run the floor in the opening 20 seconds made me think, ‘Man, what if?’
- Knowing that Dallas was on the second night of a back-to-back, John Rohde said to me early in the game that Dirk Nowitzki looked tired. I leaned over and responded, ‘Wait until the fourth quarter.’
- The Thunder had 18 assists on its first 18 made field goals.
- Russell Westbrook had seven assists in the opening period and nine at halftime. He’s now tallied 19 assists against three turnovers in the first half of the last two games.
- OKC entered the game averaging 17.8 assists, the second fewest in the league. But in the last five games, the Thunder has averaged 22.8 assists. That would rank eighth if you could throw away the other 10 games.
- The Mavs love the 3-ball. They shot 19 through three quarters and looked foolish for doing so. That is, until they four of eight in the fourth quarter to ice the win.
- Quietly, the Thunder has shot much better from 3-point range of late. OKC went 6-for-15 from downtown tonight, and things could be turning around in that department.
- If I’m a Thunder fan, I’m worried about the attitude Thunder coach Scott Brooks and his players took after this one. Those 3-point bombs provided a convenient excuse for how this one got away. Players and coaches explained this loss by Dallas getting hot from 3 at the right time. And that, of course, makes it easy to overlook what the team didn’t do right at the other end. The offense was again dismal in the fourth quarter. The Thunder shot 9-for-23 (39.1 percent) in the final frame, and had it not been for a few early Serge Ibaka buckets (one being a putback) and a few garbage time scores, this one would have looked much worse.
- Westbrook missed another dunk tonight. Just bounced right out on him. And it was a four-point swing, as Dallas scored on the other end.
- Dirk gets the biggest benefit of the doubt from the refs that I’ve ever seen any player get since M.J. The foul call that went against Nenad Krstic in the first half was the biggest bit of bogus officiating tonight. Krstic got a clean block, avoided contact with the body, but still got hit with the foul.
- And need I mention all the traveling violations Dirk gets away with?
- Here’s a funky stat. The Thunder is now 7-2 when it is outscored by the opposing bench. Weird, huh?
- Nick Collison took two more charges tonight. By my count, that’s eight on the season. Would someone please start a charge count somewhere in the second level already? You’d get shown on the big screen every time you flipped to a higher number.
- So much for my thoughts about the Thunder possibly peeling of a 12-game winning streak. The consecutive win streak stops at five. But if the Thunder goes 3-0 in the last three games this month, I’m still on target for my 57-win prediction.
- Happy Thanksgiving to each of you. The Thunder collected 6,400 pounds of food tonight during its food drive. That’s enough for 5,000 meals, two times as much as the team collected and provided last year. That’s pretty cool.
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