Thunder is on the verge of sweeping the defending NBA champs in the first round

Be afraid, NBA. Be very afraid. The Dallas Mavericks have lots of fight, lots of experience and lots of resolve. The Thunder has knocked it right out of them.
by Jenni Carlson Published: May 4, 2012

DALLAS — This is the Thunder team that you remember, isn't it, Thunder fans?

The one that defends like Dobermans. The one that shoots like deadeyes. The one that scares the bejesus out of the rest of the NBA.

It's a squad that went missing regularly since the All-Star Break, but Thursday night, it came back with a vengeance.

Thunder 95, Mavs 79.

Be afraid, NBA. Be very afraid.

“They're not going to give you anything,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said of his team's opponent in this first-round playoff series. “You're going to have to earn it.

“Tonight, we earned it.”

Did they ever.

“This is a big stage and a big win for us,” Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook said. “Hopefully, we can do the same thing Saturday.”

Don't look now, but the Thunder is on the verge of sweeping the defending champs. Listen, I know that Dallas is the No. 7 seed in the West, but this is a veteran team. It has lots of fight, lots of experience and lots of resolve.

The Thunder has knocked it right out of them.

The Mavs are a team defeated.

Sure, they might win a game before this series is over. They might win Saturday night. But it sure doesn't feel like they've got much left in them.

Those first two games in Oklahoma City, Thunder fans worried about how close the outcomes were. Shouldn't the boys in blue be winning by more? Should this be cause for concern?

But the truth is, everyone in Dallas saw those close calls differently. They looked at the effort that the Mavs gave. They looked at the poor shooting from Thunder star Kevin Durant. And they realized they had no wins to show for it.


by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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