Monday, February 04, 2013 10:34 pm
Thunder scorch Mavericks 112-91
By JEFF LATZKEAP Sports Writer
The Mavericks had tied the first two meetings this season with 3-pointers at the very end, but there was no such drama the third time around.
Oklahoma City led by at least 20 throughout the second half, winning for the 10th time in 11 meetings between the teams since Dallas beat the Thunder in the 2011 Western Conference finals on its way to the NBA championship. That includes a four-game sweep of the Mavs in the first round of last year's playoffs.
Shawn Marion was the lone bright spot for Dallas, hitting 10 of 14 shots and scoring 23 points.
Dirk Nowitzki had 10 points on 3-for-11 shooting after missing the previous two games with a right adductor strain.
The Mavericks played without reserve Vince Carter, who was out sick and missed his first game all season. Coach Rick Carlisle was denied in his first chance to earn his 500th career win.
Kevin Martin chipped in 17 points off the bench for Oklahoma City, which rested its starters in the fourth quarter and got some playing time for seldom-used reserves Perry Jones III and Daniel Orton. The Thunder have alternated wins and losses for their past nine games, and have lost two in a row only once this season.
The Thunder charged ahead to stay after starter Darren Collison headed to the Mavericks' bench with his second foul, picked up while reaching in against Durant on a made jumper with 4:10 left in the first quarter. Kevin Martin had a two-handed, alley-oop dunk and a 3-pointer during a string of nine straight Oklahoma City points, and Hasheem Thabeet's short jumper to start the second quarter made it 31-22 Thunder.
Even when Collison - who had a season-high 32 points and hit a tying 3-pointer at the buzzer in regulation in the teams' first meeting this season - returned, the Mavs could never stop Oklahoma City's momentum.
Collison checked back in and immediately committed a turnover that led to runout layup by Westbrook, and the Thunder kept rolling until their lead reached 27. Oklahoma City hit 12 of its first 16 shots in the second quarter and had outscored Dallas 21-1 on the fast break by the time Durant bounced a slick pass to Martin for a layup on a backdoor cut to make it 61-34.
Then tempers started to flare. Kendrick Perkins and O.J. Mayo had to be separated, and referee Ken Mauer issued a technical foul against Perkins after reviewing the play on video. The Thunder protested that Dallas players were using inflammatory language, but Mauer explained that he was limited to video - and not audio - on the replay.
Oklahoma City led by as many as 33 in the fourth quarter.
Notes: Durant tied for the NBA lead with his ninth technical foul of the season, gesturing at an official after he had a shot blocked in the third quarter. Perkins' technical was his seventh. Players are suspended one game if they receive 16 techs in a season. ... Carlisle said center Chris Kaman still had not been cleared to practice after sustaining a concussion a week ago. ... The Mavericks were averaging 20.1 fast-break points over a 10-game stretch before being held to six in a win at Phoenix on Friday and 11 against Oklahoma City. "We want to play fast all the time. We want to play fast and aggressive without being frantic and stupid," Carlisle said.