via The Sports Xchange
DALLAS — Dirk Nowitzki scored 19 points and the Dallas Mavericks limited the Oklahoma City Thunder to 31 points over the second and third quarters in a 97-81 win Saturday night at the American Airlines Center.
After tallying just 39 points in the second half of Friday’s disappointing loss to the Pistons, the Thunder showed no discernible plan on offense Saturday and became easy prey for the resurgent Mavericks.
Dallas limited Oklahoma City to 36.7 percent shooting from the field for the game. The Mavs (5-15), led by Nowitzki’s 19 points, including 4 of 7 from beyond the 3-point arc, have won three of four and earned consecutive wins for the first time this season.
Meanwhile, the Thunder dropped to 8-11, losing two straight since the blowout win against Golden State Warriors.
Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony and Paul George have failed to mesh, and Saturday was a prime example of their lack of cohesiveness.
Westbrook scored 16 of his game-high 28 points (along with 12 rebounds and nine assists) in the first quarter. Anthony, who finished with 16 points, made three of his four 3-pointers in the third quarter when OKC cut the deficit to 10 points, but just as quickly saw the deficit balloon.
Dallas closed the third quarter on a 15-2 run and staked a 78-55 lead heading into the fourth.
George never got going, finishing with just two points on 1 of 12 shooting. It was the first time this season that Paul scored fewer than 10 points. He did have 10 assists. No other Thunder player scored in double digits.
Trailing 25-24 after the first quarter, Oklahoma City got buried in the second quarter and never recovered. Its 13 points in the period marked a season-low for any quarter, while it was also the fewest points in a quarter Dallas has surrounded all season.
Offensively, the Mavs kept the ball moving and got double-digit scoring from five players. Aiding Nowitzki’s team-high were Harrison Barnes, Dennis Smith Jr., and Wesley Matthews all with 12 points each. J.J. Barea came off the bench for 10 points.