Thursday, April 21, 2016

The Thunder managed to defeat its rival to the south, the Dallas Mavericks, five straight times during the course of the past six months, but ultimately fell short in Game 2 of this first-round series of the Playoffs, leaving the Thunder with a road trip and two games in Texas to regain control.The Thunder’s 85-84 loss on Monday night boiled down to a few crucial points – the Thunder couldn’t get the lid off the rim and the Mavericks scored on eight of its final 13 possessions. The Thunder can’t control Kevin Durant going 7-for-33 from the field and only going to the free throw line five times. Down the stretch, there were a few team defensive breakdowns that allowed Mavericks point guard Raymond Felton to knock down some crucial baskets. In order to defeat the Mavericks on Thursday night and make it a 2-1 series, the Thunder will have to contain Felton and other Dallas guards like Deron Williams, Devin Harris and J.J. Barea, if he suits up. And by the way, there’s a Hall-of-Famer in Dirk Nowitzki lurking along the perimeter waiting for catch-and-shoot opportunities while those guards attack off the dribble. Dirk will be a problem for the Thunder. The Thunder will have to keep him contained unless they want to get beat. If they keep him contained the Mavs will have to find another way to score. If the Thunder keep up the intensity of the game they should be in for a good win. If not, the Mavs will be able to pull this one out.

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