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Dallas Mavericks vs. Oklahoma City Thunder Line at -4

Written by:
Carrie Stroup
Published on:
May/23/2011
Dallas Mavericks vs. Oklahoma City Thunder

The Dallas Mavericks vs. Oklahoma City Thunder line was coming in at -4 with OKC the favorite.  A total of 196 was listed on this game.  This line was available at Sportsbook.com here

Dallas finds itself two wins from its second visit to the NBA Finals in team history after a 93-87 Game 3 victory over the Thunder. The two teams meet again in Oklahoma City for Game 4 Monday night before heading back to Dallas Wednesday.

Shawn Marion and Dirk Nowitzki each had 18 points to lead the Mavericks on Saturday. The Mavericks have now won four straight playoff games on the road, tied for the longest streak in the last five seasons. They won despite a less-than-stellar game from Dirk Nowitzki, who for just the fifth time in 116 career playoff games, finished with as many turnovers as made FG (seven). His seven turnovers set a playoff career high. Nowitzki struggled going one-on-one in Game 3, making just 2-of-7 FG on isolation and post-up plays. In the first two games of the series, he shot 15-of-20 FG on these same play types. Nowitzki drew two fouls, both occurring in the fourth quarter, which was the fewest fouls he has drawn in a game this postseason. He drew 24 fouls in the first two games, most of any player in the Conference Finals. The Mavericks bench was back in charge in Game 3, outscoring the Thunder 28-16.

Russell Westbrook was both good and bad in Game 3. The good was his team-leading 30 points. The bad was his not passing the ball and freezing out his teammates. In the first three quarters of the game, there were 12 possessions where Westbrook brought the ball up past half-court and didn’t pass once. In the fourth quarter, Westbrook didn’t pass on 10 possessions. On the game, Westbrook scored 24 points on 7-of-16 shooting (43.8%) when he didn’t pass. Kevin Durant (24 points) may have suffered the most from this. In the first three quarters, Durant had an offensive touch on 47.3% of the possessions he was on the court for. In the fourth quarter, Durant had an offensive touch on just nine possessions, 33.3 percent of the ones he was on the floor. The Thunder used isolation plays 27 times in Game 3, nearly doubling the number of isolation plays run for the series. The Mavericks answered the challenge though, holding the Thunder to 4-for-17 shooting (23.5%) on such plays after allowing the Thunder to shoot 50.0 percent in the first two games.

Durant was held to 24 points for the second straight game, marking the second time this postseason he has scored fewer than 25 points in consecutive games. The performance the Thunder received from James Harden in Game 2 (23 pts, 7 rebounds) needs to return from him or someone else on the bench, or the Thunder will be gone quickly. Also, Westbrook needs to understand that the trust he had in his teammates throughout most of the season (8.2 APG during regular season, just 6.3 in postseason, including 3.7 this series), worked and must return to tat for the rest of the postseason. However, Dallas is hungry to get back to the NBA Finals and now can smell the championship that went away in 2006, being warmed up on the stove again in 2011.

- Carrie Stroup, Gambling911.com Senior Reporter

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