The Dallas Mavericks shot a scorching 53.4% (39-73) from the floor Tuesday night in front of their fans at American Airlines Arena as they beat the Oklahoma City Thunder in game one of the Western Conference Finals 121-112. Dirk Nowitzki led the way for the Mavericks with a game high 48 points for the night while Jason Terry came off the bench with 24 points. Oklahoma City got a strong performance from forward Kevin Durant who would score 40 points in the contest but the Mavericks would take over the game in the middle two periods and the Thunder could not rise up to the challenge.
The opening period would remain close for most of the quarter but Oklahoma City pulled ahead down the stretch. Durant drove the lane putting the ball up and in the cylinder at the buzzer putting his team on top 27-20. The tone of the game would change dramatically in the second as the Mavericks offense sprang to life. Dallas would end the period on a 16-3 run and as the two teams left the floor when the game reached the half the Mavericks would be on top 55-48.
Dallas would remain on a tear offensively in the third and although Oklahoma City made a run midway through the period the Mavericks would pull ahead late in the quarter. The Thunder would trail by double-digits at the conclusion of the period with the score 90-79. Oklahoma City would pull within five points of their opponents in the final period but the Mavericks would pull away once again and won the game with ease.
Nowitzki knocked down a game high 48 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 blocks while Jason Terry came off the bench with 24 points, 2 assists, 1 block and 1 rebound. Jose Juan Barea had a strong night off the bench as he scored 21 points, 3 rebounds and had 1 assist while Shawn Marion had 11 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, a block and a steal.
Durant scored 40 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 blocks and a steal while Russell Westbrook put up 20 points, 3 assists, 3 rebounds and 1 steal. Serge Ibaka added 17 points, 6 rebounds and 1 steal while James Harden came off the bench with 12 points, 4 assists, 2 rebounds, 1 block and 1 steal. The series resumes Thursday night.