After three days off, the Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder returned to the courtroom to face the Dallas Mavericks with contemporary legs.
Or perhaps that they had rusty legs. Or perhaps there was some All-Star fatigue with the break in two days. Possibly it was only a slip in efficiency.
Regardless of the case, the Thunder couldn’t put up the offense to face an opportunity towards the Luka Doncic-less Dallas Mavericks. OKC misplaced 87-78, and solely broke the 20-point mark in a single quarter.
Dallas heated up simply sufficient within the third quarter to leap forward of the Thunder, who shot simply 33.3% from the sphere and 23.1% from 3.
Listed here are three takeaways from the night time:
All-Star weekend fatigue?
The Thunder had three days with none video games. They wanted to play twice extra earlier than their week off. On Wednesday, it felt like their All-Star break had already began. There seemed to be a scarcity of power because the Thunder stepped again on the courtroom and the Mavericks performed their remaining recreation of the primary half. Oklahoma Metropolis’s 42 first-half factors was a season-low, and the Mavericks didn’t do a lot better, scoring 49. Regardless of the attention check, Guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander stated he did not suppose the staff lacked power. “I didn’t really feel like we had been a step behind or something like that, a step gradual,” he stated. Thunder head coach Mark Daigneault stated he wasn’t positive if there was rust from the times off. “I assumed we had power on the defensive finish of the ground. If we had been simply torpid on each ends, then perhaps that might be the case, however I believe it was simply extra of a foul offensive night time for us,” Daigneault stated. But it surely regarded like there was a scarcity of power, and Kenrich Williams thought the defensive efficiency wasn’t as robust as traditional. “To be sincere, I assumed this recreation wasn’t our greatest defensive recreation,” he stated. “May’ve been higher as a staff.” The telling level on offense was the 13 assists. It is a season-low, and since Jan. 13, Oklahoma Metropolis had solely had one recreation with fewer than 20 assists. “The ball undoubtedly caught tonight,” Williams stated. “We simply got here off a recreation (on Feb. 26) the place he had 31 assists, however that’s how it’s within the league. Some nights it goes our approach, some nights it is like that.”
The Mavericks bought sizzling for simply lengthy sufficient
Dallas made simply one in every of their first 22 3-point makes an attempt. That’s 4.5% of their seems. That’s … impressively dangerous. The Mavericks then bought sizzling over a five-minute span within the third quarter, hitting 4 of 5 3-pointers as a part of an 18-2 run that prolonged their lead from 55-52 all the way in which to 73-54. They cooled off a contact, however Kristaps Porzingis made back-to-back 3s within the fourth quarter to push the result in 20 factors. Oklahoma Metropolis couldn’t do any actual injury from there. The Mavericks solely scored 87 factors, which shouldn’t be sufficient for a win, however they bought good performances out of a number of gamers. Porzingis scored 19 factors and had 13 rebounds, together with taking pictures 3-for-6 from 3, the one Maverick to hit 50% of his 3s or higher. Tim Hardaway had 19 factors, and Josh Richardson had 16. Nobody on the Thunder might match that. Most spectacular was Ty Jerome, who had 13 factors on 5-for-7 taking pictures and made a team-high three 3-pointers, however no one scored greater than 15 factors.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander received’t be on each night time
These team-high 15 factors got here from Gilgeous-Alexander, who went 5-for-15 from the sphere in one in every of his few dangerous video games of the season. The Mavericks attacked him aggressively and infrequently double-teamed him, and fought their approach round screens properly. Extra surprising than this efficiency was the truth that this was his second recreation in a row through which he struggled. Gilgeous-Alexander scored 13 factors towards the Denver Nuggets on Saturday on 5-for-11 taking pictures. He has typically bounced again after low scoring affairs this season. The final 4 instances the guard scored lower than 20 factors, he bounced again by scoring greater than 30 within the very subsequent outing. The final time he didn’t was on Jan. 6, the seventh recreation of the season. He’s now taking pictures 2-for-10 from deep during the last two video games. “For me personally, it was only a dangerous taking pictures night time,” he stated. “I really feel like we did not get a number of seems that we often make.” This break comes at a very good time for Gilgeous-Alexander. He’s had the heaviest load of his profession. Certain, he’s truly averaging about one minute much less per recreation this season than final, however he’s exerting much more power in his 33.9 minutes per recreation because the lead playmaker and offensive weapon than he was in his 34.7 minutes final 12 months. Whether or not or not there’s All-Star fatigue, there’s definitely weariness from the schedule, which included 9 video games in 14 days earlier than these final three off. Daigneault attested to this final week when speaking in regards to the Hamidou Diallo damage. “With the All-Star break developing — which the entire league wants, to be sincere with you — it has been a fairly good grind right here on this first a part of the schedule,” the coach stated. The Thunder have only one extra recreation earlier than they’ll go into the break. They will face the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday.