OKLAHOMA CITY —
“He scored the ball tonight,’ Brooks said. “He put himself in position catching the ball, playing with force.”
Collison paced Dallas (12-17) with 32 points on 13-for-22 shooting. He hit all four of his 3-point attempts. Mavericks center Chris Kaman chipped in with 17 points and eight rebounds, and Shawn Marion added 14 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. In his second game back Nowitzki hit 3 for 11 for 9 points and grabbed six boards.
Dallas has now lost four games in a row, but players believe they can learn from how they played against the defending Western Conference champions.
“We try to take all the positives we can from this loss,” Marion said. “I think this was one that we let slip through our fingers. We’ve still got to learn from it and go home tomorrow against a good Denver team and try to stop the bleeding.”
With Oklahoma City trailing by nine heading into the fourth quarter, Durant almost single-handedly cut the lead down to 95-94. Then, with 1:57 left, he hit a jump hook over Vince Carter to give the Thunder their first lead since early in the first quarter.
After a couple of empty trips by both teams, Dallas had a chance to take the lead back with 15 seconds remaining. Mayo got the ball and tried to drive into the lane, but Westbrook came up with a steal.
Durant knocked down two free throws to put Oklahoma City ahead 98-95. Dallas called a timeout and got the ball at half court.
With 2.2 seconds left, Marion threw a pass to Carter, who was unable to handle it. Marion rushed in and knocked the ball to Collison, who threw up a shot in one motion and attempted a game-tying 3-pointer. It went in and sent the game into overtime.
Michael KinneyFollow me @firstname.lastname@example.org