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News » Oklahoma City Thunder Getting Inside 2009-03-01

Oklahoma City Thunder Getting Inside 2009-03-01

Oklahoma City Thunder Getting Inside 2009-03-01
The Thunder were kicking themselves after squandering what might have been their biggest win of the season, especially considering the circumstances. On the road Friday at Dallas, Oklahoma City had the Mavericks on the ropes, leading by 12 in the fourth quarter despite playing without Kevin Durant for much of the game.

The NBA's fourth-highest scorer turned his ankle in the first quarter, but Russell Westbrook and Jeff Green more than picked up the slack. That was until Dirk Nowitzki led a 16-0 fourth-quarter spurt that gave Dallas the lead, and the Mavericks ultimately won 110-108 in overtime.

"We've got to be able to avoid that terrible stretch," center Nick Collison said. "We were up 12, and just like that it was tied. You know they'll make a run, but we have to hold them off better than that and get something going."

The downfall for Oklahoma City was Dallas switching to a 2-3 matchup zone. Not having Durant's ability to shoot over the zone and create really came into play during the Thunder's drought.

"We've got to pass the ball around the perimeter to get enough movement, and I don't think we made the zone move very much," Collison said. "We were too passive against their zone, and I think that really bothered us. And in that stretch is when they got most of their stops.

"On the other end, if we could have gotten stops, they wouldn't have been able to set up, but we couldn't get stops, either."

THUNDER 99, GRIZZLIES 92: Jeff Green and Russell Westbrook combined for 52 points as Oklahoma City snapped a seven-game losing streak Saturday night at Memphis. The Thunder (14-45) won for only the fourth time on the road.

Green and Westbrook put up big numbers for the second straight night, as Oklahoma City was without its leading scorer, Kevin Durant. Newly acquired guard Thabo Sefolosha had 15 points for the Thunder, and center Nenad Krstic had 10.

Oklahoma City fought off a late rally by the Grizzlies, who lost their seventh straight. Rudy Gay scored 20 to lead Memphis, while rookie O.J. Mayo had 18.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: March 1, 2009


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