BY JOHN ROHDE, Staff Writer, jrohde@opubco.com Modified: December 27, 2010 at 11:39 pm •  Published: December 27, 2010
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COURTSIDE VIEW

Some observations from staff writer John Rohde during the Thunder's 103-93 loss to Dallas on Monday night inside Oklahoma City Arena:


*At the end of the game, Mavericks reserve guard Jason Terry stood center stage and waved both arms above his head, pleading for more boos from what remained of the sellout crowd, which he received. Standing next to Terry was Caron Butler, who at the final buzzer slammed the ball hard to the court with one hand.

Perhaps a rivalry is brewing between the teams, but the Thunder went 0-2 on its home court this season against the Mavericks, who convincingly showed who was boss at the end of both games. Their final meeting this season is just nine days away in Dallas.

*A fan seated in the front row along the Thunder bench gave Terry an earful the entire game, a tactic which obviously backfired with Terry scoring 11 of his 13 points in the final quarter. The fan left early. Two suggestions: 1. If you dish it out, be man enough to accept the final result. At least stay until the end of the game. 2. Don't go after an explosive player like Terry. Next time, pick on somebody like Alexis Ajinca or Brendan Haywood.

*Thunder reserve forward Nick Collison took his 20th charge in his 23rd game of the season, and a fan has posted a sign on the top row of Section 106 to track Collison's season total. The sign reads “Nick Collision.” Trouble is, the number remained at 19 after Collison took a charge late in the first quarter. The sign is commendable, but if you're going to keep a running total, keep it updated. Isn't that kind of the point?

At halftime, the Collison sign was replaced with one reading “KD for all (star sign).”

*Dallas star Dirk Nowitzki twisted his right knee with 9:10 remaining in the second quarter and did not return. Nowitzki actually tripped himself on the play, stepping on his left foot and rolling his right ankle, which twisted his right knee in the process. Nowitzki was not touched during the shot itself and the fans booed, but Serge Ibaka was whistled for a foul before the actual attempt.

*Sign in Section 110, long after Nowitzki had left. “Dirk, willst du mich heiraten?” Translation: “Dirk, will you marry me?”

*Mavericks assistant Dwane Casey filled in for coach Rick Carlisle, who missed the game following knee surgery last week. Casey was reserved and soft-spoken during his pregame interview session but was standing and shouting like a mad man the entire contest.

“There's a big difference between making suggestions and decisions,” Casey said before the game. “Rick does a great job of pushing the right buttons. If I had a rookie team doing this, I'd be as nervous as you-know-what.”

Casey looked plenty nervous anyway, though he's no stranger to being in charge. He previously served as head coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves, going 43-59 from 2005-07.

WESTBROOK IS OK

Thunder starting point guard Russell Westbrook hit the floor hard late in the game and left with a stinger in his right elbow, which already was protected with a padded sleeve. Afterward, Thunder coach Scott Brooks said Westbrook was “fine.” He was expected to be able to practice Tuesday morning.

DIRK'S STATUS UNKNOWN

The prognosis on Nowitzki's knee injury was unknown shortly after the game. “I'm not sure,” Casey said. “I don't think it was anything serious, but we are just taking precautions and making sure he is going to be OK before we bring him back.”

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