By Suave Francisco
Today's game looked absolutely nothing like Saturday's game one matchup between these two Western Conference teams. Oklahoma City started this one out in a bad way, allowing Dallas to get off to a 15-7 lead in the first six minutes of the basketball game but did a great job bouncing back and staying in the game. However, due to a sub-par shooting night, and an unlucky last second tip after the buzzer, Oklahoma City lost 85-84 to even up this first round series 1-1.
Not much to explain here, when Oklahoma City's star player shoots 7-33 for the game and the rest of the team shoots 33.7 percent, that explains everything. If anything, in a weird way, Dallas will probably leave this game happy for the win of course, but a little discouraged based on the fact that they only won by one point, despite Durant's tragic shooting night. Not to mention, Russell Westbrook didn't shoot lights out either, just 8-22 from the field for 19 points.
But everybody calm down... KD still continued his streak of 20-point games tonight with a three-pointer during the last 20 seconds of the game. He also had a pretty good rebounding night with nine total. That in fact, was still this team's strong point of the game as they dominated Dallas in that category 54-45, with 19 of those being offensive rebounds. Russell Westbrook didn't get his triple-double, but he did get a double-double with 19 points, and 14 rebounds, six of which being offensive. Serge Ibaka was the third and only other Thunder player in double figures with 12 points and eight rebounds, and Steven Adams managing the offensive boards with five of his seven total rebounds...and a beautiful tip-in at the buzzer that was waved off following an official review that won the game for Dallas.
The hidden problem has been the same problem OKC has faced all season after many of their losses...lack of bench play. The Thunder's supporting cast only scored 21 points with no one scoring in double figures. The only thing Kyle Singler did during the five minutes he played, was shoot one shot that didn't go in. He left the rest of his stat line blank.
Cameron Payne and Josh Heustis didn't see the floor either which is still perplexing to me, only because Singler continues to receive playing time with little to no production. I would've liked to see Billy Donovan take a courageous step and go to Payne off the bench when it was clear that KD couldn't hit anything. It would've also been wise to (I can't believe I'm saying this), take the ball out of KD's hands. I think offensively down the stretch they looked to get the ball to Kevin too much as if he was shooting 50 percent for the night. It disrupted the offensive flow, and in the end lost the game for the team.
No worries though, like I stated earlier, Dallas only beat OKC by one point in what may have been Kevin's worst shooting night of his career. Don't expect that to ever happen again, or at least anytime soon. Heck, don't expect the Thunder team as a whole to shoot 33 percent again either, especially in the playoffs. This is just one game, and the first team to four wins moves on and the advantage is clearly on OKC's side.
Game three will be in Dallas, TX on Thursday night. Look for Durant to make up for this game with at least two games of complete dominance.