You know the drill. The Difference is a reflection on the game that was, with one bullet for every point in the final margin.
- For three quarters of this game, the Mavericks controlled the tempo. The offense produced wonderfully, mostly due to an outstanding game from Darren Collison (13-22 FG, 4-4 3PT, 32 points, five rebounds, four assists, four steals, three turnovers) and the efforts of Chris Kaman (7-14 FG, 17 points, eight rebounds) and Shawn Marion (5-12 FG, 14 points, nine rebounds, seven assists), the latter of which nearly recorded a triple-double.
- But after a stagnant fourth quarter, one which saw Kevin Durant (13-28 FG, 10-10 FT, 40 points, eight rebounds, five assists) lead the Thunder to a three-point lead with 2.2 seconds remaining, prospects appeared dire for the Mavericks.
- And then this happened.
- It was a bizarre, incredible moment that gave the Mavericks new life and a chance at a hard-fought overtime win. Unfortunately, that win was not to be. The issues that troubled the Mavericks’ fourth quarter offense continued into overtime. O.J. Mayo’s (1-7 FG, four points) recent struggles proceeded and amplified in the extra period. With the Mavericks facing a one-point deficit and less than one minute left, Mayo made a costly turnover. Like many of the turnovers that plague his game, it was avoidable and caused largely by confusion and impatience.
- After picking up his dribble (with plenty of time left on the shot clock), he forced a pass to Collison that was easily stolen, and the resulting transition bucket put the Thunder comfortably ahead. Later, Mayo drew a clever foul on a three-point attempt with the Mavericks down three and 33 seconds remaining. Though a typically stellar free-throw shooter, Mayo unluckily made only one of three free throws, and the Mavericks never bounced back.
- Dirk Nowitzki (3-11 FG, nine points, six rebounds) performed below his typical standards in 26 minutes of action. Hopefully the power of time will quickly aid him in his ascendancy back to stardom.