How often is a 40 point on 10-18 FG and 18-19 FT performance completely overshadowed? Not often, but it happened last night thanks to Dirk Nowitzki. Here's how Game One of the Western Conference Finals broke down.
Game 1: (4) Oklahoma City Thunder vs. (3) Dallas Mavericks, American Airlines Center
- Final: Dallas 121-OKC 112
- Dirk Nowitzki scored 48 points on 15 field goal attempts by going a playoffs record 24 of 24 from the free throw line. The previous record for free throws without a miss in the playoffs belonged to Boston's Paul Pierce in 2003. Only three times did Dirk propel a ball to the rim without it being hugged by sweet, sweet nylon on the way through the rim. Jason Terry had 24 and JJ Barea had 21 for Dallas. OKC got 20 from Russell Westbrook but he was the anti-Dirk... shooting 3-15. Serge Ibaka added 17, but had no blocked shots.
- OKC: Durant 40 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal, 2 blocks
- Mavs: Dirk: 48 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 blocks
- Key Stats: Kendrick Perkins and Serge Ibaka combined to block no shots... not a one. OKC got 22 points from its bench, two less than Terry alone. Despite Dirk's insane FT numbers, OKC actually attempted and made more FT's (37-43) than Dallas (34-36). In fact, look at the totals at the bottom of the box score and you'll see rebounding, assist, steal, and shots attempted numbers are all pretty equal. The difference in the game was Dallas made shots. The Mavs made 53.4% of their 73 attempts. OKC made 47.2% of its 72 attempts. There's your game.
- "I was really looking to shoot early and was able to get my rhythm after the first couple of shots," said Nowitzki. "I kept attacking and my teammates kept feeding me and feeding me and I was able to take advantage over some smaller players."
- "We were fouling his jump shots," Brooks said of Nowitzki. "Twenty-four times to the free throw line -- and he's a terrific jump-shooter -- but that's just too many fouls. We got to do a better job guarding him, and we will. We will make some adjustments... he's a great player and he's one of the best I've ever seen at that position offensively."
- Kevin Durant: “I could bet my whole house that Russell Westbrook won't go 3-for-15 again. You can quote me on that.”
- Game Two is in Dallas Thursday at 9pm on ESPN