Dirk Norwitzki was hoping for the same kind of friendly bounce that allowed Kevin Durant to put the Oklahoma City Thunder ahead in their first-round playoff series.
When Nowitzki didn’t get it, the Dallas Mavericks could only settle for another frustratingly close loss and an uphill climb to survive in their first postseason since winning the NBA title.
Russell Westbrookscored 29 points, Durant added 26 in an off-shooting performance and Oklahoma City clawed out a 102-99 victory over Dallas on Monday night to take a 2-0 series lead.
The Mavs led in the final minute of both games in Oklahoma City but couldn’t even manage a split as the Thunder gutted out two wins by a total of four points.
“We come away from these two games disappointed but not dismayed. You tip your hat to the fact that they have made some big time plays,” Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said. “Now, we’ve got to go home and do the same.”
Game 3 is Thursday night in Dallas.
Video: Dirk Nowitzki & Kendrick Perkins Get Tangled Up
Video: Delonte West picks Kevin Durant`s pocket and takes it to the rack for the left-handed slam.