OKLAHOMA CITY — When Dallas has taken on Oklahoma City this season, the Mavericks haven’t looked like a team fighting to reach .500. In the two previous matchups, the Mavericks lost both, but the Thunder had to go into overtime each time.
However, the Mavs reverted back to form of sorts Monday in the teams’ third meeting. The Thunder dominated from the opening tip and rolled to a 112-91 victory at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Despite going over the 100-point mark for the 35th time this season, it was the Thunder’s defense that had the players looking at the stat sheets. They forced 14 turnovers and racked up 25 fastbreak points.
“Key was coming out with a defensive mindset. I think tonight was just one of those nights we came out locked up and let the offense take care of itself,” Russell Westbrook said. “I think we did a good job defensively of playing together and getting out on break. Just getting stops. Then we forced a lot of turnovers, and that gave us an opportunity to get transition points.”
Westbrook led all scorers with 24 points and added seven assists and three steals. Kevin Durant scored 19 points on 6-for-11 shooting, and he pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds. Durant’s scoring average against the Mavs this year dropped from 46 points per game to 37.
“Kevin leads the NBA in scoring and he can easily do it for many years,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. “But that’s not Kevin’s focus. He’s committed to winning basketball games.”
Kevin Martin added 17 points off the bench for the Thunder (36-12).
Shawn Marion paced Dallas (20-28) with 23 points. However, after collecting 28 rebounds in his previous two games, he was held to only one board against the Thunder. Dirk Nowitzki shot 3-for-11 and scored 10 points.
In the opening period, the Mavs kept the game tight behind the play of Marion. The veteran forward hit four of five shots and blocked two Dallas shots.