A horrible shooting night — 7-of-22, 0-for-8 on 3-pointers — but give Durant credit. The rest of his game continues to improve. He had 12 rebounds, five assists and two blocked shots.
The Thunder brought out heavy hitters, by OKC standards, for pregame pomp. Kevin Ollie, a classy backup point guard on the second Thunder squad and now a UConn assistant coach, delivered the prayer. Hanson, the Tulsa-bred '90s pop band, sang a solid anthem.
Second-chance points kept the Thunder in the game, to the extent it was in the game the first three quarters. The Mavericks had just nine offensive rebounds to the Thunder's 14. The Thunder outscored Dallas 17-5 in second-chance points. Tyson Chandler did hurt OKC with six offensive rebounds.
Fourteen minutes into the game, Dallas led 35-12. That the Thunder made it interesting in the final minutes is a testament to the faith of youth. It was a 14-point game with 8 1/2 minutes left, but a six-point game with 5 1/2 minutes left. Play with that kind of urgency from the start, and the Thunder still has a chance.