Originally posted on Fox Sports Southwest  |  Last updated 12/18/11
DALLAS (AP) -- While competitors like the defending champion Dallas Mavericks have altered their rotations, the Oklahoma City Thunder is standing pat. Kevin Durant scored 21 points and reserve James Harden added 16 to lead the Thunder to a 106-92 victory over the Mavericks on Sunday night in the preseason opener for both teams. The Thunder reached the Western Conference finals last season before falling in five games to the Mavericks. Oklahoma City has kept its young rotation intact, and the Thunder expects a smooth transition into the regular season. "It should help a lot as far as chemistry is concerned," said Durant, the NBA scoring leader last season at 27.7 points per game, whose aggressive play led to a 13-for-14 night from the free throw line. "We've been together for a while. We know each other's games. Hopefully, our young legs push us through it." Oklahoma City went 31 for 55 from the field and 10 for 21 from beyond the 3-point line to help negate 25 turnovers that led to 33 Dallas points. "Offensively, we were sloppy with the ball," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. "Too many turnovers. But that's something we have to work on and we will correct." Lamar Odom, acquired from the Los Angeles Lakers in a trade on Dec. 11, had 14 points and seven rebounds in his Mavericks debut. Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd, leaders of the Mavericks' title run, were in uniform and are healthy but were rested. Delonte West and Odom started in their place. Dominique Jones and Roddy Beaubois took advantage of additional minutes to score 17 points apiece, pacing Dallas. "(Nowitzki and Kidd) being out, we're not going to be the same team, but that's all right," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said. "We need to see other guys. Our philosophy is that when we're without any of our guys, the guys that are available need to get the job done. We weren't able to do it tonight." The Mavs are working newcomers Odom, Vince Carter and West into their rotation, looking to make up for the losses of key rotation members Tyson Chandler, J.J. Barea and Caron Butler to trades or free agency. The teams complete their two-game home-and-home exhibition set Tuesday night at Oklahoma City, and Nowitzki and Kidd are expected to play. The Thunder took control with an 11-0 second-quarter run that included two 3-pointers from Daequan Cook, expanding a 25-24 lead after one quarter to 58-51 by halftime. Oklahoma City went 7 for 11 from 3-point range in the first half, with Cook hitting 3 of 4 from beyond the arc. Durant's nine points in the third quarter, all on foul shots, pushed the Thunder to a 90-70 advantage entering the fourth. Dallas was 7 for 21 from the floor in the third quarter as the Thunder turned up the defensive pressure. "Our defense was pretty good," Durant said. "We were making our rotations, helping each other out, and we got to the free throw line." Dallas opened the fourth quarter with a 14-0 run and pulled as close as 93-88 on Ian Mahinmi's dunk with 5:04 remaining. But the Thunder scored the next five points, including a pair of jumpers from Eric Maynor, for a 98-88 edge with 3:21 left, closing out the Mavs. NOTES: Carlisle said his primary goal in a short preseason is getting his veteran team into game shape. "Our guys would benefit from a longer camp, but that's not in the cards," Carlisle said. ... The Mavericks open the regular season on Christmas Day, hosting Miami, their opponent in the finals. The Thunder host Orlando on the same day.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Marvin Lewis threatens Bengals players with major changes

Robert Grays dies from injury stemming from tackle attempt in CFB game

Winter is coming: Best free agents on MLB contenders

Report: Warriors players, officials perplexed by Kevin Durant’s offseason

Magic Johnson subpoenaed in Draymond Green civil case

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Carmelo optimistic that trade to Rockets coming soon

Sixers plan to start Ben Simmons at point guard with no restrictions

LSU’s Guice posts, then deletes, picture of him with new car

Two players die after Saturday’s college football action

Brady breaks Peyton Manning’s player-of-the-week record

Joe Thomas: Elliott, young players need to ‘learn how to lose’

The 'MLB is as powerful as ever' quiz

After a decade in the WNBA, MVP Sylvia Fowles is ready for the spotlight

College football 2017 Week 4 predictions

10 teams that can unseat the Warriors for the 2018 NBA championship

NFL Referee Hotline: Mike McCarthy is sick of these calls

The 'Kevin Durant has mad (Twitter) handles' quiz

Baseball's most underwhelming teams of 2017

The 'Remember the tight ends' quiz

Ranking the best college football fan bases

Getaway Day: Time runs short as postseason nears

Sports & Politics Intersect: White House sticks it to sports

The 'Not so elementary, my dear Watson' quiz

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

After a decade in the WNBA, MVP Sylvia Fowles is ready for the spotlight

The 'MLB is as powerful as ever' quiz

10 teams that can unseat the Warriors for the 2018 NBA championship

College football 2017 Week 4 predictions

NFL Referee Hotline: Mike McCarthy is sick of these calls

Baseball's most underwhelming teams of 2017

The 'Kevin Durant has mad (Twitter) handles' quiz

Ranking the best college football fan bases

The 'Remember the tight ends' quiz

Getaway Day: Time runs short as postseason nears

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker