2012 Western Conference Quarters: Dallas Mavericks at Oklahoma City Thunder, Game #2

2012 NBA Playoffs Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game #2
#7 Dallas Mavericks at #2 Oklahoma City Thunder
Best of Seven Series, Format 2-2-1-1-1
OKC leads series 1-0
Chesapeake Energy Arena – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Monday, April 30, 2012, 9:35 pm Eastern, TV: TNT
Opening Line: Oklahoma City -7
Current Line: Oklahoma City -6 1/2
Opening Total: 196
Current Total: 194
Opening Money Line: Thunder -320 / Mavericks +270
Current Money Line: Thunder -295 / Mavericks +245

Russell Westbrook and the Thunder look to take a 2-0 series lead against Dallas in the Western Conference Quarterfinals Monday night. The Thunder are 6.5 point favorites at home.

If game #1 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals series between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Dallas Mavericks is any indication then this should be a long series. I say bring it on, because it was a fantastic game. Dallas opened defense of their title by leading for most of the game. They appeared to have the game in hand when they took a 7 point lead with 2:30 to play. However, Oklahoma City fought back. They were down one with 9 seconds to go when Dirk Nowitzki was fouled and made two free throws. On the next possession, Kevin Durant took a jumper from the free throw line that looked offline as it left it hands. However it rolled on the rim and in with 1.5 seconds left to give the Thunder the 99-98 win, and a 1-0 series lead.

Durant had 25 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, and 4 blocks in the win. Russell Westbrook led all scorers with 28 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 steals. Serge Ibaka had 22 points, 6 rebounds and 5 blocks. James Harden added 19 points for the Thunder in his first game back after a concussion from an elbow from Lakers’ forward Metta World Peace 6 days before. Nowitzki had 25 points and 6 rebounds in the loss for the Mavericks. Jason Terry added 20 points and 5 assists.  Shawn Marion had 17 points and 8 rebounds and Vince Carter added 13 points for the Mavericks. Jason Kidd scored only 8 points but also had 6 rebounds, 5 assists, and 7 steals. Dallas made 43.6% from the field, including 10/22 from 3 point range. The Mavericks were 20/25 from the free throw line. OKC shot 48.1% from the field including 6/16 from 3 point range. The Thunder shot 17/20 from the free throw line.

The 47-19 Thunder, coached by Scott Brooks, won the Northwest Division and are the #2 seed in the West. Dallas finished the regular season 36-30 under coach Rick Carlisle, and are the #7 seed in the West. Oklahoma City won the regular season series 3-1 against Dallas. Last year these two teams played in the Western Conference Finals. The Mavericks won the series 4-1 before beating the Miami Heat in six games for the first title in franchise history.

Dallas is outscoring opponents 96-95 this season. Dallas is shooting 44.3% from the field and 33.9% from 3 point range. The Mavericks make 77.1% from the free throw line. Dallas averages 42.8 rebounds a game with a rebounding margin of -1.1. The Mavs average 20.9 assists, 14 turnovers, 8.6 steals, and 5.1 blocks a game. Dallas opponents are shooting 43.5% from the field and 34.6% from 3 point range. The Mavericks are in the top 12 in both categories. Dallas forces 14.8 turnovers a game.

The Thunder are outscoring opponents 103-97 this season. OKC is #3 in scoring in the league. The Thunder are shooting 47.1% from the field and 35.8% from 3 point range. Oklahoma City is #3 in field goal percentage in the NBA and #11 in 3 point percentage. The Thunder lead the league in free throw percentage making 80.6% at the stripe. OKC is #6 in rebounding averaging 43.7 a game with a rebounding margin of +2.4 a game. The Thunder average 18.5 assists, 16.4 turnovers, 7.6 steals, and 8.2 blocks a game. OKC opponents are shooting 42.7% from the field and 34.2% from 3 point range. The Thunder are in the top ten in both categories. Oklahoma City forces 14.2 turnovers a game.

OKC is 35-32 ATS this season and the total is 32-35. Dallas is 33-34 ATS and the total is 34-33 this season. The road team is 24-8-2 recently in this series, and the underdog is 17-4-1 as well. The under is 13-4-1 ATS in OKC, and Dallas is 13-3-1 ATS in those games. The Mavericks are 5-0-1 ATS in first round playoffs games,  3-0-1 as an underdog of 5-10.5 points, 8-1-1 as a playoff underdog, 6-2 after a straight up loss, 5-2 after allowing 100 points or more, 7-3-1 as a road underdog of 5-10.5 points, 2-5 overall, 2-7 in Saturday games, 1-4 in road games, as an underdog, and as a road underdog, and 1-5 in road games against teams with winning home records. The Thunder are 8-2-1 ATS on two days rest,  18-8 after failing to cover, 58-27-1 after a straight up loss, 3-7 in Saturday games, 2-5 overall, and against Western Conference teams, 1-4 as a home favorite of 5-10.5 points, 1-6 after scoring 100 points or more, 1-7 against teams with winning records, and 0-8 against Southwest division teams.

Everyone counted the Mavericks out because they had such a lackluster regular season, and they lost players like center Tyson Chandler and speedy point guard J.J. Barea to free agency. However, they are still the champs and until you put that stake through their heart they will fight you for every game. Oklahoma City is one of the best teams in basketball but they are still young. Westbrook and Durant are a combined 46 years old. I think the Thunder win another close game before the series shifts south to Dallas later in the week.

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