It was one of those nights for the Thunder

BY JENNI CARLSON, Staff Writer, jcarlson@opubco.com Published: May 21, 2011
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Kevin Durant pressed his fingers into his closed eyelids.

In the hush of the Oklahoma City locker room, the Thunder superstar sat silently at his locker, hardly moving, barely able to lift his head.

It was one of those nights.

Mavericks 93, Thunder 87.

On a night that went from embarrassing to exhilarating to disappointing, the Thunder spotted the Mavericks a 23-point, first-half lead. Oklahoma City cut the lead to four points in the fourth quarter, but ultimately, the mountain was too high to climb in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals.

“We came close,” Thunder guard Thabo Sefolosha said. “We weren't able to quite make it.”

Dirk Nowitzki had a lot to do with that. Even though he scored only 18 points — 30 points less than he had in Game 1 — the Mavericks star had 10 of those points in the fourth quarter.

His basket with 42 seconds remaining pushed the Dallas lead to eight points and gave the Mavs the cushion that they needed.

The Mavs now have a 2-1 lead in this best-of-seven series.

Game 4 begins at 8 p.m. Monday in Oklahoma City.

Two nights after shooting 55.4 percent from the floor, the Thunder managed only 12 points in the first quarter and shot just 29.4 percent in the first half as the Mavs built that big first-half lead.

The Thunder warmed up in the second half but still managed to shoot only 36.5 percent.



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