OKLAHOMA CITY – Some quick hits from the Mavericks’ 107-93 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night:
Red River rivalry: Maybe it’s the proximity of the cities or the recent playoff history – although there aren’t many Mavs remaining from the 2011 West finals or 2012 first round series – but this was a typically chippy Dallas-Oklahoma City game. There were three technical fouls assessed and Vince Carter was ejected after being called for a flagrant 2 for hitting Thunder rookie center Steven Adams in the head with a retaliatory elbow.
“We’ve been going at it for a couple of years now and have good battles up here always,” Dirk Nowitzki said. “It got chippy a little bit and the refs didn’t really have it under control. They let a lot of stuff go, and that’s what happens.”
Too many turnovers: Turnovers are trouble against any opponent, but it’s especially true against the Thunder due to the freakish athleticism of Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka. Oklahoma City actually committed more turnovers than the Mavs, but coughing the ball up 21 times at Cheseapeake Energy Arena is a good recipe for a road loss.
“It’s extra costly against them because they’ll make you pay so fast,” Nowitzki said. “Without you even having a chance to get back, it’s a dunk.”
All-around loss: Coach Rick Carlisle saw a lot of numbers he didn’t like in the box score. Too many turnovers. Not enough rebounds, with OKC winning the battle of the boards by a 44-36 margin. The Thunder shot 54.4 percent from the floor. And we could go on.
“I don’t think there is any area in this game where you could say we couldn’t have done better,” Carlisle said.