Both J.J Barea and David Lee were inactive; Deron Williams played through a hernia, Dirk Nowitzki had a somewhat off game, and the Dallas Mavericks were able to stun the Thunder on their home floor. Dallas pulled off an impressive 85-84 victory to tie the series at one game each.
It certainly helped that Oklahoma City shot miserably, and Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook were at the head of it. Overall, the team shot 34% from the floor, but Durant was just 7/33 from the field, and Westbrook was 8/22 — Durant’s 26 missed field goals tied Michael Jordan’s playoff record.
The Mavericks were energized from the start and looked like an entirely different team. Deron Williams came out and shot the lights out in the first quarter, finishing with 11 points on 4/4 from the field, including 3/3 from three. Raymond Felton got off to a quick start as well and recorded seven points. Despite seven points from Durant, his shooting woes began early, and he shot just 3/9; Westbrook had a rather efficient quarter, with five points on 2/4 shooting and three boards. Dallas led 24-20.
In the second, Dirk led the Mavs with eight points after Williams and Felton combined for just four points on 1/8 shooting in the quarter. Nowitzki was the most efficient and hit 3/4 field goals while Dallas shot just 36% in the period. Westbrook and Durant still struggled. Not only did Durant shoot poorly (1/5), but he kept turning the ball over and finished the second with more turnovers than points (4 TOs, 3 points). Russ turned up the aggression, registering eight points and four boards on 3/7 shooting. Dallas entered the break with a 45-43 lead.
The third was absolutely atrocious for both offenses. OKC was lucky enough to put up 19 points with five coming from Durant, who was 1/9 shooting; his plus/minus for the quarter was +8, a team-high. Westbrook still pounded the glass and reigned in five boards to go along with his four points. The Mavericks seldom put the ball in the basket and finished 5/18 for the quarter, led by Dirk, who had five points on 2/7 shooting.
Dallas was able to bounce back in the fourth and hung 26 on the Thunder. Shooting 50%, Felton, Wesley Matthews, Devin Harris, and Salah Mejri all had six points — Dirk scored the other two. Steven Adams and Devin Harris had back-to-back buckets to tie the score at 81 with 2:15 left in the game. Felton and Matthews had layups to extend the lead to 85-81 with 14.4 seconds left.
Despite being ice cold all game, Durant buried a clutch three with 9.5 seconds left to trim the lead to just one. Felton, who shot 85% from the foul line this year, went to the free throw line and missed both free throws, giving OKC one last shot. With six seconds left and no timeouts, Westbrook hustled down the floor and gave to KD, who missed the layup. Russ got the rebound but missed his layup as well. Adams got his turn off Westbrook’s miss and made a layup that was waved off after officials went to the monitor.
Durant and Felton shared the game-high of 21 points; Durant’s came on 7/33 shooting with nine rebounds and seven turnovers. Westbrook had 19 points, 14 rebounds, and Dirk was second on the Mavs with 17 points.
Game three is set for Thursday, April 21 at 7:00 PM EST in Dallas.