Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 1/20/13
After losing a heart-breaker of a game to the Oklahoma City Thunder, 111-114 in overtime, the Dallas Mavericks are now on the road to regroup the will power that got them these last 4 wins. Even though Dallas lost to Oklahoma City, it was still a good game and the Mavs didn’t give up. It took a while for some of them to warm up, but the good thing of it was that the rest of the team didn’t falter and kept grinding it out. The Thunder are the Western Conference Champions and a very formidable opponent, but they, well outside of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, they played like any normal team has been playing this whole season, so Dallas really doesn’t have anything to hang their heads about. Durant, after being called out by his grandma this week about his language, set a career high of scoring 52 points, with 12 of those being in the overtime and Westbrook added 31 of his own for the Thunder to lead them to a victory. Others  scoring for the Thunder were Serge Ibaka who added 11 points and had 14 rebounds and Kevin Martin added 11. Dallas though had a balanced attack being led by a season high 29 points from Vince Carter who also connected on 4 of his 8 three point attempts. Dirk and OJ Mayo each added 18 points where Dirk had 9 rebounds and Darren Collison tipped in 15 points of his own. Elton Brand had another double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds and vet Mike James added 10 points of his own. The problem Dallas had was that they again let a team get a double digit lead on them before they tried to rally back, but was unable to rally completely until late in the game. At one point, Dallas trailed by as much as 14 points and then they would rally a bit, but, then Oklahoma City would get another run going and then we were back to another 14 point deficit again, until Dallas finally was making it work in the fourth. Throughout the first 3 quarters, Dirk and Brand were a combined 3 points on 1 of 17 shooting, but then they decided to come alive in the fourth quarter and accounted for 22 of the 33 points that the Mavs scored in that quarter; but it was the three pointer that Mayo hit with only 2.3 seconds left in the fourth that gave Dallas that umph to get over that edge and gave them a 105-105 tie and force Oklahoma City into overtime. The good thing of it is that Dallas showed that they still have some stuff left in the tank and can be competitive against the big teams, they just have to be able to sustain themselves in order to pull off one of these miraculous wins against teams like Oklahoma City and others in the top seeds. Dallas  has come very close in those games and even secured the wins, but it just was not in their favor tonight and with Dirk and Brand having an off night, it was going to bode well for the Mavs and the outcome proved it. The Mavs had good numbers across the board in stats for the game, but just allowed Durant the shots that he wanted to get and in the end, unfortunately, was the hero for them and we were left holding the bag with another loss. So now Dallas has  to regroup themselves and travel to Orlando to take on the Magic who can be a little testy at times, but Dallas should be able to handle them and get a win. Howard is gone, Gortat is gone so they don’t have a real big man in the middle, even though Glen Davis holds the court in that area, but maybe Chris Kaman and even Brand should be able to handle him and they just need to contain Jameer Nelson and Aaron Afflalo on the perimeter and take care of the business at hand. And with that, I will bid you a good day and say good luck and let’s go Mavs!

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.

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