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Tonight we saw what the western conference had to offer and it was offense and more offense. Yes there were defensive efforts here and there by one or two players, but while the teams in the east struggle to score 80 points, the mavericks along with OKC seem to have no problem scoring…at times scoring at will.
Just as it was the bench who secured the win in the east, the bench played a large role for the Oklahoma Thunder, the overall youngest team in the league. Oklahoma pulled out the victory with the final score being 106 to 100 in a very exciting game that can only make us look forward to the next game in a series that now has officially begun.
James Harden in his second year in the NBA had his best game as a pro in the playoffs scoring 23 points off the bench along with 7 rebounds; at times being the go to guy in a team with Durant and Westbrook.
Durant poured in 24 points in over 40 minutes and at times was very impressive hitting tough shots over strong but shorter defenders like Jason Kid and Deshaun Stevenson.
It was interesting how things took a turn for the worst for Russell Westbrook who has received his fair share of criticism for his play during the playoffs.
Westbrook scored 18 points on 15 shots but only dished out 4 assist, not good enough when you consider that he plays with arguably the best scorer in the league. He basically sat out the 4th quarter after slew of bad decisions and bad shots and was visibly upset on the bench.
His backup Eric Maynor in the minutes that mattered helped secure the win with 11 points off the bench and more importantly had zero turnovers. Westbrook is a good player and a future star in this league but he needs to learn to be a point guard not just a scorer.
Dirk Nowitzki had an off night compared to his game 1 stats, but his 29 points was not enough tonight to lead his team to victory.The difference is the Thunder made it harder for Dirk in terms of getting easy shots and getting to his spots on the court where he could easily involve his teammates or take advantage of his mismatches. The bench played all right but not to the level of game 1, but if that is what they are expecting from the bench, then they will not win this series as I predicted.
Now the series is tied and the Oklahoma City Thunder has stolen a game on the road while shooting 56 percent on a very good defensive team. Many adjustments need to be made in Dallas before this series gets out of hand on the road.