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OKC Thunder: Grading the Thunder's 95-79 victory over Dallas in Game 3

REPORT CARD — Oklahoma City's defense on Dirk Nowitzki and bench were key.
by Berry Tramel Published: May 3, 2012
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/articleid/3672333/1/pictures/1711339">Photo - Dallas' Dirk Nowitzki (41) goes past Oklahoma City's Kendrick Perkins (5) during Game 3 of the first round in the NBA playoffs between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Thursday, May 3, 2012. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
Dallas' Dirk Nowitzki (41) goes past Oklahoma City's Kendrick Perkins (5) during Game 3 of the first round in the NBA playoffs between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Thursday, May 3, 2012. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman

Handling the crowd: A. The Thunder negated the Mav mob with ease. Dallas never made an extended run, the Thunder played solid throughout and OKC continued its trend of playing well in Big D. Over the last two seasons, including the playoffs, the Thunder is 4-4 at home against the Mavs and 4-3 on the road.

Composure: A. The veteran Mavs lost their cool. They got horribly sloppy with the ball and also were whistled for four technical fouls. Coach Rick Carlisle dang near got tossed from the game in the first quarter. Meanwhile, the Thunder's only technical came on a fourth-quarter skirmish between Kevin Durant and Dallas' Brian Cardinal (double techs), even through three quarters, the Mavs had shot more than twice as many foul shots as the Thunder (19-9).

Ballhandling: A. The Thunder committed just eight turnovers, and two of those came in the final four minutes, when the third-string was playing.

Thursday's box score: Thunder 95, Mavericks 79
by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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