Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle insists he's not posturing for more calls from officials, but so far the Mavs have headed to the free-throw line far more frequently in their playoff series against the Thunder than during the regular season.
Primarily a jump-shooting team, Dallas averaged 20.2 free throws per game during the regular season.
The Mavs are averaging 28.5 free throws per game so far in the playoffs with 25 attempts in Game 1 and 32 in Game 2.
Dallas forward Dirk Nowitzki, the player Carlisle constantly says warrants more free throws, is 20 for 21 (.952) from the line thus far.
OKC is a team that penetrates and led the league in free-throw attempts this season at 26.4 per game.
The Thunder is averaging 29.5 free throws so far in the series with 20 in Game 1 and 39 in Game 2.
OKC was whistled for three fouls in the first 46 seconds of the third quarter, two by Serge Ibaka, who was sent to the bench. The Mavs were in the bonus with 8:50 still left in the period and shot.
Thunder forward Nick Collison fouled out with 9:00 left in the game.
In their 102-99 loss to the Thunder in Game 2, the Mavericks outscored OKC 40-18 in the paint and 17-6 in second-chance points thanks to a 12-5 advantage in offensive rebounds. The Thunder had a 12-6 advantage in fast-break points. … OKC shot 54.1 percent in the first half and 33.3 percent in the second half to finish at 44.8 percent (30 for 67) from the field. The Thunder started out the third quarter 1 for 11 from the field. … The Mavs shot 46.2 percent in the first half and 37.5 percent in the second half to finish at 41.8 percent (33 for 79). … OKC turned 14 Dallas turnovers into 21 points. The Mavs scored 16 points off 16 Thunder turnovers.
Dallas lost Game 1 on Saturday night with 1.5 seconds left after a kind bounce on Kevin Durant's 15-footer rainbow jumper.
On Sunday night, the Memphis Grizzlies lost at home after blowing a 27-point lead to the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Thunder previously has experienced both types of defeats in the playoffs – getting eliminated against the Lakers with 0.5 seconds left in Game 6 at home two years ago; blowing a 15-point lead in Game 4 last year at home against Dallas.
Which is tougher to take – a loss in the final seconds or blowing a huge lead?
“Whoa,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said, trying to decide. “The easy thing to say is, ‘They're both tough.' The hardest thing to do is to move on quickly, because every game is a new game. There are new dynamics in every game. You have to move on quickly. Whether you win or whether you lose, that last game has no bearing and you have to focus on that.