Thunder Roll, Put Mavericks On Notice

HANG TIME PLAYOFF HEADQUARTERS — Don’t let the designer Poindexter glasses fool you. Thunder stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook see just fine.

They can see through the playoff matrix already, just three trips into the postseason in their young careers.

Clearly, the Thunder do not plan on waiting their turn. They also won’t be deferring to their elders, as their 95-79 Game 3 destruction of the defending champion Mavericks Thursday night at American Airlines Center serves as proof.

Durant’s shooting touch came back — he had 15 points 12 minutes in — was 8-for-10 and had 21 points by halftime and finished with a game-high 31 points. Westbrook did as he pleased and the Mavericks still do not have anyone on the roster capable of shutting him down. And the Thunder, from Kendrick Perkins, Serge Ibaka and Nick Collison up front to James Harden, Derek Fisher and Thabo Sefolosha in the backcourt, are proving that they are the deeper, stronger, more resilient and a just plain better team.

“We wanted to focus on being solid, keeping it simple, hit singles and not home runs and I thought we did that,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. “That’s important, because sometimes we get a little excited. And that’s good, because they are very excitable. But when we talk about playing our basketball and improving everyday, we have to think simple. Sometimes it’s challenging to coach simple with our guys but it’s important to focus on that.”

A 3-0 hole in a playoff series is the ticket for any team to get off the postseason ride, even the defending champs. The Mavericks know this better than anyone, having handed the same ticket to the Lakers last year in the Western Conference semifinals.

Now here they are, 48 minutes away from the same fate.

“We’ve got to fight,” Mavericks swingman Shawn Marion said. “We’ve got to go out swinging. That’s what it’s about. It’s about going out there and seeing what’s inside of you. Gotta dig deep inside of us and go out there and get it. We’ve got to all look at each other in the eyes and in the face and go out there and challenge each other.”

All that’s left for the Mavericks is to show they have the resolve of a champion who will cede their position to the Thunder or some other Western Conference team (like the Spurs or Lakers) capable of handling the rigors of the postseason road Dallas owned last season. If they don’t want to become the first defending champ to be dismissed in the first round since the Miami Heat in 2007, they have to come up with a better showing Saturday night in Game 4.

After two close games to start this series, plenty of folks believed the Mavericks might have had another run in them. But that feeling was washed away by that early-and-sustained blitz from the Thunder. They simply overwhelmed the Mavericks, with Durant leading the way. The three-time scoring champ bounced back from his shooting struggles in the first two games (15-for-44) and owned Game 3.

“Look, he’s a great player,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. “He’s the best scorer on the planet. And Marion did a phenomenal job for two games, and tonight Durant picked his level up a little bit and he was making some of those contested shots. What was he, 11-of-15? I mean that’s a phenomenal shooting night in a game that their spreading the ball around quite a bit.”

If not for that late 10-0 run by the Mavericks’ reserves, the Thunder would have won by 26 instead of 16.

“You’ve got to take your hat off to them,” Mavericks guard Jason Terry said. “They came out and played a hell of a game tonight, kicked our ass in every facet of the game.”


  1. The mavs are done!Dirk is a choke artist!

  2. Nicole says:

    Thunder Up, I love my team. For all those Mavs Fans that are saying that the thunder are getting lucky & the refs did not call things last game can go sit down somewhere. All those times OKC has played the Mavs at home the mavs put on a show, especially Dirk & Terry, with all the fake flops and whining. not to mention OKC gets called on a lot of things that even the ESPN hosts disagree with. Mavs get favored when they are at home in REGULAR SEASON, this is the playoffs their faking does not work now!

  3. SoHappyToSeeMarkCubansFace says:

    I am super happy to see Dallas loose and more than anything… Mark Cuban’s Face.. The short of Mark Cuba face is price less.. can’t stand him… GO OK… finish it off…

  4. OKC is the better team, in game 1 and 2 they made the plays to win and game three on the road they they ended they series its over time to rebuild in big D

  5. Anon908 says:

    Dear Mav’s fans; Dallas didn’t have a chance to begin with at the start of this season. They lost two of their pivotal players, that were instrumental in last years championship. Also bringing on Odom was less than fruitful, and he isn’t to blame for this, since for me he wasn’t going to make much of a difference to begin with. Dallas just doesn’t have the players to compete at the same level they did last year. So good luck next year. Sincerely, me.

  6. ShootDahhJayy says:

    At least the lakers didn’t get swept in ROUND ONE of the play offs

  7. Wen says:

    They don’t have Tyson Chandler this year. That’s one foolish thing smart Cuban should not have done.

  8. TooBadMavs says:

    It was pretty obvious that Dallas was experimenting this season with different line-ups and the different roster. Too bad that they had to face OKC in the 1st round ‘cuz personally, they would’ve had a bigger chance to advance if they met the Spurs instead.
    The Odom fiasco could’ve helped hugely in this series. It could’ve even been the X-factor. But still, OKC is hyped, ready & hopefully prepared for what’s in stake for them moving on in the playoffs.
    With the shortened season, I do not see any “old” team going far in this years playoffs. This type of season is made for the young guns.

  9. Bob says:

    Well the only thing that caught my attention here was, that neither of them have eyesight problems.

  10. Wait a Minute says:

    The Mavs are getting served a hot batch of humble pie.

  11. Roy says:

    The Thunder better tread wisely these next few series. The Lakers, Spurs (and Grizz if they make it to the West Finals) are very serious threats to them. OKC has to be clicking on all cylinders and not fall because of their lack of inexperience to those teams. The Spurs and Lakers know how to win games when it counts.

  12. Lin MVP! says:

    hopefully mark cuban would learn his lesson! not to break a championship team after winning the nba title…

  13. Spiller says:

    Westbrook needs a bigger suite, his arms are too big

  14. Kekcoke says:

    The Mavs can’t help their poor jumpshooting, The team really misses the interior presence of Chandler as they’re more suffocated by the defense to score down the paint. Cuban is to partly blame since he overpaid Haywood, giving no flexibility to resign Chandler.

    Meanwhile, Chandler is definitely his money at the price of getting less postseason success. SIGH.
    Makes me also wonder why he wasn’t much of force while he was with the Bobcats.

    • Rich says:

      WRONG – The ONLY time Bobcats made the playoffs was when Chandler was still there.

  15. supplanter33 says:

    What happend to the reigning champs??? Bad move by the Mavs organization not resigning Chandler and Barea. they can only blame themeselves. Buh Bye Dirk! Mavs are in for a rebuilding mode for seasons to come. .

  16. KPS says:

    I like how so many teams are being counted out already. The Lakers and Spurs are seriously two very dangerous teams this season. OKC is seriously overhyped, they are good but this series could have been 2-1 Dallas.

    • Saywhatson says:

      Could have been, but isn’t. Teams are judge on winning, not what could have been. The thunder could have dropped the mavs last year the west finals, but they didn’t.

  17. olive august says:

    Thunder were lucky in game 1. That shot by Durant was luck. No question. Dallas isn’t the same team they were last year. OKC won’t make it out of the west. I don’t think they would beat the Spurs, or the Grizzlies.

  18. OKC_maybe_NEXT_year_CHAMPS says:

    LAST game of the Dallas/OKC series was a very different one, compared to the first 2 games !

    OKC are very BAD shooting team regarding 3s, their 3pt % last year in the playoffs/in general and against Dallas was mediocre !

    last win against Dallas is a very diserved ONE (the ONLY one) and they won it mainly with amazing 3pt shooting making 12 3s with above 40% shooting which is by OCK standards simply SPECTACULAR !

    on the other side, it was Dallas that was missing so many shots …….their % very poor……they simply missed so many open shots !

    the first 2 games Dallas could have won easily and today it could have been 2: 1 for Dallas

    YEAH, to be honest, maybe this series will end with sweep or 4:1, but in the end the difference in quality between Dallas and OKC is very small/minor

    if OKC want to win this year, they must make lots of 3s………………otherwise i doubt !

  19. Poor mavericks says:

    OKC is just too much for dallas,Dirk is getting old, J.Kidd is TOO old hes basically a bench player now, at least both got their ring last year so no worries.

  20. inevitablesweep says:

    Ha Ha Ha…..buh bye Dirty Dirk!

  21. Lisandro says:

    The thing about Ibaka and the Defensive Player of the Year award comes down to this:
    Perkins is the hell of a defender, so anyone that tries to play in OKC’s paint will have a really hard time.
    The backcourt has a couple of insanely quick defenders like Harden and Westbrook.
    On top of that, Durant’s wing spand is scary.

    Chandler needs to stop EVERYONE without significant help, because there is a huge hole in that defense called “Carmelo Anthony”. The Kincks defense was one of the most improved of the year, all because of Chandler. It was a deserved award.

    I hope the Lakers slow down the Thunder and force the series to reach a sixth game. If that doesn’t happen, we will have Heat vs Thunder in the finals without losing a game!

    • Brother James says:

      I agree with you and don’t have a problem w/ Chandler getting the award but here are some numbers to think about. Last year in an 82 game season Ibaka led the league in total blocks at 198. No one over 200. 2 years ago Howard led the league in total blocks w/ 228. Bogut came in 2nd that year w/ 175 but only played in 69 games.

      This year, in only 66 regular season games, Ibaka had 241 total blocks. He would have beat Howard outright in total blocks 2 years ago. If his average held true for another 14 games he would have had 299 blocks!! He already had more than 100 blocks than the next closest player this year (McGee w/ 132). I think Chandler is an excellent defender but Ibaka’s block total is staggering.

  22. Flying Raijin_41 says:

    durant and westbrook look funny in there post game interview..they look retards…

    • Rich says:

      they’re still kids, trying to find, or trying to start an image, kinda immature… but hey, they’re millionaire kids and they’e very good at what they do. I hate them though – STILL !

    • supernaut says:

      Spoken like a true intellectual. It helps if you know how to spell. “Thunder Up”!!

  23. zhiggi says:

    OKC is just too strong…they’re young, dynamic, fast, offensive-oriented, and great young players. They just reign in shots. Mavs cannot keep up with the young but powerful team. The likes of the triple threat (durant, westbrook, and harden) is just too much to handle for the mavs. But come next round when they face spurs (I think) that’s gonna be a must-watch series. Spurs are old but their gold and they can play at the caliber of OKC’s offense. It’s gonna be TIGHT…..

    • Mark says:

      Um, actually, OKC faces the winner of the Denver Laker series (probably Lakers). That will indeed be a great series.

  24. Flying Raijin_41 says:

    thunder is great but this is not the same dallas mavericks team that took the championship last year…if they face that same teams this time it will be a different story….I’m a dirk nowitzki fan and I will follow my team to the end…

    • DurantFAN says:

      Blame it on Mark Cuban. He was the one that decided not to resign Chandler and the other role players for another year. He rather try to rebuilt now rather than try another run at it. This shows that he was not confident about his team winning it all again this year…what a shame…

      • Rich says:

        Cuban is not being unconfident, he saw an opporunity to make the team stronger and at the same time play with the CBA rules on salary caps.

      • Ken says:

        Agreed. They needed to figure out a way to keep Chandler; he was absolutely crucial for them in last year’s run.

      • PC says:

        Mark Cuban rebuilds the team in ways that makes no sense. He brings in older players and giving up young players. By the looks of that, rebuilding is keeping young talent with potential and capabilities of playing the game. Caron Butler, J.J. Barea, and Tyson Chandler had that. Not Vince Carter and maybe even Lamar Odom; whose is a big mouth to feed in terms of satisfaction. `

  25. OKCKD35 says:

    so anyone still think Ibaka did not deserve defensive player of the year? Dominating the paint!

    • Rich says:

      Ibaka is an excellent defender but I don’t think he will hold up against DHoward, Bynum or any of the more active big guys. His shot blocking is fun to watch, except of course if its against my Mavs 🙂
      Chandler over-all still still the best guy manning the paint against anybody.
      If you beat my Mavs, which is almost a certainty right now, I hope you go all the way and sweep El Heat !

  26. dattebayo says:

    When I think about all those non calls and bad calls going against Dallas and the Thunder barely winning both games at home, it just seems weird to see Dallas go down 3-0. They will win the next game and then we will see from there. I didn’t pick the Mavs to win but a sweep does not do them justice…

    • Slider821 says:

      Yep…keep blaming the refs…that’ll go a long way to winning a championship.

    • BIGGIE*D1952 says:

      More calls were whistled on OKC in every game they had with Dallas, all the whinning in the world will not change the fact that the Mavs are the lesser team. but continue to blame the game outcome on the refs, that will go a long way I’m sure. Why has no one cited the outstanding defence played by the Thunder as the cause for the Mavs defeat. (in addition to OKC scoring machine.)

  27. Rich says:

    Thunder deserved all the credit here. They’re just getting even more dangerous each game. I still hate you though !
    – MFFL

  28. Patrickmarc says:

    four zero is possible for OKC, durant and Wesbrook look strong
    Ibaka is splendid.
    To stop Ibaka ? MUTOMBO.!! (may be his little son) all what Dalla’s defense need.

  29. ThunderFan says: