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Thunder 117, Mavericks 114 (OT)

John Rohde Modified: April 12, 2013 at 6:45 pm •  Published: January 19, 2013

Leftover observations from the Thunder’s 117-114 overtime victory Friday night over the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center:

  • Three-time NBA scoring champ Kevin Durant scored a career-high 52 on Friday night at AAC. Dirk Nowitzki scored 48 in Game One of the Western Conference Finals in the same  building. Got to admit, Dirk’s outing was significantly better.
  • Durant shot 21 for 21 from the free-throw line and 5 for 9 from 3-point range, but just 13 for 31 from the field. Good thing he went 3 for 4 in overtime. Meanwhile, Nowitzki went 24 for 24 at the line and 12 for 15 from the field. Scoring 48 points on 15 field-goal attempts is ridiculous. Nowitzki’s effort was calculated as the most efficient shooting performance in NBA playoff history.
  • After Durant drained a first-quarter shot maneuvering through the lane, a scout seated at press row told Oklahoma media: “You guys are spoiled getting to watch him.” True dat.
  • Some of the more printable quotes about Durant from fans seated directly behind press row at AAC. “Are you kidding me?” “Unbelievable” “Even his misses look good.” “Man, he gets every call. Dirk doesn’t get that many calls.” “Son of a (bleep).”
  • Durant overcame 2-for-11 shooting in the fourth quarter, during which the Mavs outscored OKC 33-24 to force overtime. “I was upset with myself in the fourth quarter,” Durant said. “I missed so many shots, and I wasn’t taking it to the rim. I wasn’t putting pressure on the defense, so I was just trying to make up for it in overtime. So, I just kept fighting and kept believing in myself. My teammates gave me confidence. It’s more about the win for me. I was excited at the way we played.”
  • Dallas coach Rick Carlisle on defending Durant: “There are some things that we obviously could have done to limit him. … He had a great game and he is the best shooter on the planet.”
  • Could an opponent feel any more helpless than when Durant is at the free-throw line? When you include the Thunder’s overtime victory over the Mavs on Dec. 27, Durant is a combined 31 for 31 from the line against Dallas this season.
  • Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook scored 31 points and also had six rebounds and a team-high six assists. It was his third straight game with 30-plus points. If Durant wasn’t going bananas, much more would be written about Westbrook.
  • The Thunder shot 54.5 percent from the floor en route to a 30-22 lead in the first quarter and didn’t break 50 percent again until the overtime period, when it shot 57.1 percent.
  • Two games with two game-tying 3-pointers by Dallas in the closing seconds of regulation have resulted in two losses for the Mavericks, who are now 1-8 in overtime games this season. OKC is 4-0 in OT.
  • Durant on being named an All-Star starter for the third year in a row: “It never gets old. You can’t take something like that for granted, no matter what. Growing up, I remember when I was in seventh grade the game was in Washington D.C. I just wanted to be a part of that. I wanted to sit on the front row and watch the dunk contest. I wanted to play in the game.”
  • Thunder coach Scott Brooks on Durant’s All-Star status: “He’s one of the best players in the game and it’s great that the fans have acknowledged that also. He’s everything (that’s) right about the NBA.”
  • Sixth man Kevin Martin is a great guy who has been a great addition for the Thunder. He has stepped in admirably replacing James Harden, but K-Mart’s shot has been road kill this season. At Chesapeake Energy Arena, he is averaging 16.9 points while shooting 48.1 percent from the field, 50.5 percent on 3-pointers and 92.5 percent at the free-throw line. Everywhere else, he is averaging 11.7 points while shooting 37.8 percent from the field, 32.2 percent on 3-pointers and 89.8 percent at the line.
  • Brooks said he hasn’t noticed Martin’s road woes. “No I haven’t, and I’m not going to tell him that, either,” Brooks said. “I know we need his activity, his points off the bench, his playmaking, his ability to draw defenses towards him because everybody knows he’s been one of the best scorers from that position for a lot of years. Even when he doesn’t score, he attracts attention (from defenders).”
  • It remains to be seen who will coach the Western Conference in the 62nd NBA All-Star Game on Feb. 17 in Houston, but it won’t be Brooks. Coaches are not allowed to be the All-Star coach in consecutive seasons and Brooks coached the West to a 152-149 victory last year in Orlando. The cutoff date is Feb. 3. The coach with the best record in his conference will coach the All-Star team.
  • The no-repeat rule prevents a potential homecoming of sorts for Brooks, who played 2½ seasons with the Houston Rockets (1992-95) and won the 1994 NBA title. “Do they still like me there?” Brooks joked. “(Coaching last year) was pretty cool, just to meet some of the players and see how they are off the court. … It was fun being around the guys. It’s an honor.”
  • Appearing Thursday on the Dan Patrick Show, Durant sheepishly admitted he wanted to play for the Toronto Raptors because he liked their uniforms and he was a huge Vince Carter fan. On Friday night, Durant defended Carter and they frequently chatted during stoppages in play. Carter then went off for 29 points — his most with the Mavericks — shooting 10 for 17 from the field.
  • The Thunder is now 3-2 in its navy blue “alternate” uniforms, and snapped a two-game losing streak from previous stops at Minnesota and at Washington.
  • OKC supposedly is the most athletic team in the league, yet the makeshift Mavericks outscored the Thunder 17-8 on fast-break points.
  • There were 11 lead changes and 10 ties. The Thunder’s biggest lead was 14 and the Mavs’ was four.
  • OKC tied a season-high with 18 offensive rebounds, which helps explain why OKC outscored Dallas 25-11 in second-chance points.
  • Next Up: The Thunder plays at Denver on Sunday at 7 p.m. Because of Friday’s overtime effort, Brooks cancelled Saturday’s scheduled practice at the Pepsi Center.

- John Rohde

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