Thunder Ready For Revenge
The Thunder won't make a big deal of it publically but there's no question they're looking forward to having another crack at the Dallas Mavericks.
The Mavs afterall embarrassed the Thunder on their home floor just days ago, handing the Thunder their worst home loss since the 2010-11 season and one of their worst ever.
The Thunder rested Russell Westbrook that night, tonight he'll be back and raring to go and it appears this team is once again ready for the same.
Since that lopsided loss to the Mavs the Thunder haven't been on the short side of the scoreboard since, winning four straight and looking for number five tonight.
The Thunder (52-18), who are two games behind San Antonio for the top seed in the West, shot 50.6 percent from the field and 11 of 22 from long distance in a 117-96 home victory over Denver last night. They made six 3-pointers in the first 12 minutes en route to a 41-24 lead, and their 72 first-half points were their most in any half this season.
With Westbrook resting his surgically repaired right knee last night waiting for Dallas, Reggie Jackson started in his place and tallied 16 points and a career-best 11 assists. It was his second straight double-double. Caron Butler was 10-for-19 with 23 points off the bench after averaging 8.1 points on 32.1 percent shooting in his first nine games for the Thunder, who signed him March 1st.
Kevin Durant finished with 27 points and eight assists, scoring 25-plus for the 35th straight game.
"You have a system that's functioning," Butler said. "The only thing guys got to do is plug into that system and play a certain style and way and give a certain type of effort, and things just continue to move forward."
Oklahoma City had its seven-game series winning streak snapped with that 109-86 home loss to Dallas on March 16th, marking the club's largest margin of defeat since a 111-88 loss in Orlando on February 25, 2011. The Thunder shot 36.7 percent from the field, their worst mark in a home game since shooting 34.3 percent in a November 1, 2009, loss to Portland.
Shawn Marion's 19 points led four Mavericks with at least 16. The Mavs were 13-for-24 from beyond the arc with Jose Calderon and Vince Carter each going 4-for-8.
Dallas (42-29) is off to a 2-2 start on a franchise-long eight-game homestand following a 107-104 overtime loss to Brooklyn on Sunday. The Mavericks, whose record is identical to Phoenix's for eighth place, led by as many as 13 late in the third quarter.
"This is not the time to panic," said Monta Ellis, who scored 32 but has tallied 11 or fewer in five of six versus Oklahoma City. "We still have four more home games. We are going to try to get these four."
Dirk Nowitzki was just 2-for-12 from the floor with 10 points, marking the third time in four contests he shot 40.7 percent or worse. He's 1-for-12 from 3-point range over his last three and is averaging 16.0 points with a 37.5 field-goal percentage over his last eight matchups with the Thunder.
Durant scored 30 in that game with the Mavericks earlier this month and is averaging 32.5 points while going 18-for-34 on 3-point attempts in his last six meetings with Dallas. Westbrook is averaging 26.4 points over his last seven games against the Mavericks.
The Thunder have won five of six in Dallas.
Tipoff is a little after 7 o'clock tonight and is the first game of a TNT national TV double-header. You can also see it on Fox Sports Oklahoma.
The Thunder will be back home Friday night to take on the Sacramento Kings.