The Thunder took on the Mavericks in the first night of a back-to-back. Not only will the Thunder play again on Monday night, they’ll once again play the Mavericks as well.
The Thunder rallied with great defense early in this one, but poor shooting stretches resulted in the Mavericks taking a decent sized lead. Paul George led Oklahoma City back into it, but the Thunder simply couldn’t get it done on Sunday night.
Oklahoma City had to endure rookie Luka Doncic early in this one. The guy came to play, and he was carrying the Mavericks early. Despite the scoring from Doncic, the Thunder’s defense was solid. Paul George was all over the place on both sides of the ball. If you were watching, you heard his name get called a lot in the first quarter. George led a run for OKC to give them the lead after twelve minutes.
The second quarter in Dallas has not been kind to Oklahoma City in recent games. The Thunder have been outscored by 48 points in the second quarter the last five games in Dallas. OKC made sure this game wasn’t going to go down the same way. The Mavericks were 7-14 from three at one point, but the Thunder’s defense led to Dallas missing their last four shots from deep. The bench for OKC led the way with 15 points combined from Dennis Schröder and Patrick Patterson. The Thunder took a 59-57 lead into the second half.
The third quarter was not the start the Thunder were looking for. The Mavericks went out on a 14-1 run to take control of the game. The first points for OKC during the quarter came after the five minute mark. Dallas outscored the Thunder 27-14 to take an 11 point lead into the final quarter.
Oklahoma City rallied back in the fourth led by Paul George who had 13 points in the quarter. The Thunder regained the lead with 6:37 to go in the game, but Dallas quickly responded. OKC held a 101-95 lead with a few minutes to to, but Dallas shot six straight free throws to get back in the game. In the end, the Thunder executed poorly down the stretch and took a 105-103 loss.
Thunder Player Of The Game
No surprise here, Paul George is the player of the game. George has been on fire lately, and he is without a doubt the best player on the Thunder roster right now. Everything this team does at the moment runs through Paul George.
The guy gets the job done on both sides of the ball. He’s been simply amazing in the month of December. If he can keep this level of play going, he will find himself with the MVP trophy at the end of the season.
George recorded 36 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 steals. He also shot the ball efficiently going 12-24 from the floor for 50% on the night. The Thunder will need more of this from Paul George as OKC heads into a rough schedule in January.
A Couple Of Thoughts
• Paul George Needs Home Help!
This probably isn’t a super popular opinion, but Paul George needs some help on the court! The truth is, George is carrying the Thunder on his back right now. The guy is averaging 30 points per game this month, and the Thunder have won only 5 out of their last 11 games.
Something with that stat isn’t right. When a guy is performing the way George has, your team should be winning. Oklahoma City needs Steven Adams and Russell Westbrook to step up in a big way. Once all three of these guys get in a rhythm, this team will be hard to beat.
• Have To Be Healthy As A Team.
Let’s not forget that the Thunder have been without Terrance Ferguson and Alex Abrines a lot lately. Not to mention that Paul George missed a game this month as well. Rosters are designed to have a purpose from top to bottom. When a guy is missing, it changes a lot of things. Even if the guy who is hurt isn’t in a main role, it’s still going to have an impact on the court. The Thunder have to find a way to stay healthy for the rest of the season.
Let’s Run It Back!
The Oklahoma City Thunder will once again play the Mavericks tomorrow night back at home in the Peake. The game will tip-off at 7:00 PM CST. It will be televised on FSOK and broadcast on the radio at WWLS 98.1 FM.
Everyone loves the New Year’s Eve games. It’s sort of become a tradition for the Thunder to play at home on this night. Oklahoma City will once again have to deal with rookie Luka Doncic. If the Thunder can contain the rookie, and dominate the boards, OKC will surely head into the new year with a win.
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