But the Mavs made just 13 of 38 shots in the second half, and that's counting DeShawn Stevenson's three 3-pointers in the final 67 seconds, after the game was decided.
“We only played defense in the second half,” coach Scotty Brooks said. “That's one thing I tell our guys. It takes 48 minutes of that type of effort, and it's hard to do, but you have to do it.”
The arena did not bubble with electricity. Until Barry Switzer coaches the Thunder or these teams meet in a playoff series, the Oklahoma City on those blue jerseys won't incite rancor.
Don't look now, but the latter could happen soon, as in April 2011. Which would be bad news for the Boomers, Dirk or no Dirk, since Tyson Chandler seems to get every rebound against OKC (46 in three games, including 18 Thursday night).
No way did the Thunder need to get swept by Dallas, then have to deal with the Mavs in a seven-game series.
Late last March, the Thunder waxed the Lakers after going 0-3 against LA. That gave the Thunder some playoff footing, and OKC stunned the league while losing a rousing six-game series.
“That's so far down the road,” Brooks said of a possible Mav playoff series. “I know one thing, Dallas is a very tough team to match up with. If that happens, we just have to get better.”
If that happens, the Thunder-Mav rivalry is born.
Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.