Thunder rookie guard Jeremy Lamb was one of 20 prospects in the NBA Development League selected to play in the seventh annual NBA D-League All-Star Game on Feb. 16 at the NBA All-Star Jam Session in Houston. The game will air on NBA-TV at 2 p.m.
Players were selected by the league's 16 head coaches and broken into two teams – the Futures and the Prospects.
Players were eligible if they had played in half of their team's games through Jan. 27.
Lamb, acquired in the Oct. 27 trade with Houston, will play for the Futures team. He is averaging 21.1 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 14 games for the Tulsa 66ers this season.
ON THE SIDELINE
Dallas power forward Dirk Nowitzki returned to the starting lineup after missing the previous two games with a strained right thigh muscle. He finished with 10 points, three rebounds, three assists and shot 3 for 11 from the field in the Thunder's 112-91 victory over the Mavericks.
Nowitzki missed the first 27 games this season recovering from arthroscopic surgery on his right knee. He is averaging 14.8 points and 5.5 rebounds while shooting 42.5 percent from the floor, all career-lows for the 11-time All-Star since his rookie season (1998-99).
“I didn't think we had enough playmakers out there and we had some stupid turnovers. That always gets us in trouble,” Nowitzki said. “One time we couldn't even get the ball in bounds. Sometimes they swarmed us and that always gets us in trouble.”
Reserve guard Vince Carter missed Monday's game due to illness. “We lose a lot of our play-call opportunities without Vince,” Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said before the game. “We just have to have other guys step up and play their butts off.”
The Mavs also were without center Chris Kaman, who is out indefinitely with a concussion.
Three-time scoring champ Kevin Durant finally missed a free throw against the Mavs this season. He went 10 for 10 from the line on Dec. 27; 21 for 21 on Jan. 18; made his first four on Monday and finished 5 for 6. That's 36 for 37 (.973) in three victories.
Durant had struggled from the field in the first two games against Dallas, converting 26 of 59 (.441) shots.
On Monday, he shot 6 for 11 from the floor, finishing with 19 points and 10 rebounds in 28½ minutes for his 10th double-double on the season.
OKC is 11-1 after a loss this season and 46-10 after a loss in the last three seasons. … Thunder reserve guard Eric Maynor scored his first points since Dec. 20 at Minnesota. … OKC is now 21-3 at home, 15-1 at home against Western Conference teams and 6-1 on Mondays. … The Mavs are 8-19 on the road, but they play seven of their next eight at home. … Dallas made 11 of its first 15 (.733) shots from the floor, then went 25 for 72 (.347). … The Thunder had averaged 17.1 turnovers it previous eight games, but committed just 11 against the Mavs, four in the first half. ... OKC had three technical fouls, one each for Kendrick Perkins, Hasheem Thabeet and Durant. … Madeline Manning Mims, the 1968 Olympic gold medalist in the 800 meters, sang the national anthem. She is also a member of the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame and lives in Tulsa.
Carlisle on the importance of his team playing up-tempo: “We've got to play fast. We want to play fast all the time. We want to play fast and aggressive without being frantic and stupid. I think that's a simple way of putting it.”
BY JOHN ROHDE