So much for that road trip. The Thunder won no road games in February, and so far they’ve won none in March; Dallas, barely within sight of the .500 mark, had more than enough vision tonight to thrash OKC, even without the ailing J. J. Barea. How bad a thrashing? We’re talking 104-89. Both sides emptied their benches before the two-minute mark. Russell Westbrook’s string of four games over 40 points came to a halt, the season series between these two teams is even at 1-1 with one to play, and, perhaps most horrifyingly, Kyle Singler got some playing time.
Perhaps we can blame it on Dirk. He’s not the consummate athlete he used to be, perhaps, but he still put his half-hour to good use, scoring 18 points and retrieving 12 rebounds. That’s more points than anyone else on the team except Seth Curry, who knocked down 22. And Wesley Matthews, who has not been well of late, came back well enough to record three of the Mavs’ six steals. The Thunder’s vaunted superiority on the boards was still evident — OKC grabbed 49 rebounds, Dallas only 38 — but obviously, it didn’t make any difference. What did matter was shooting, and the Thunder didn’t do it well, finishing just barely above 40 percent and missing 20 of 22 would-be treys. Westbrook still had a respectable line, 29-6-5, and Enes Kanter was up for a double-double (16 points, 10 boards), but nobody else except Steven Adams (19) scored more than six. Even Alex Abrines failed to produce: he missed his first three shots, and then got poked in the eye and sat the rest of the game.
Back home, at least, they can lick their wounds and prepare themselves for the next visitors, the Trail Blazers, who waxed the Thunder royally in Portland earlier this week. You’ve got to wonder at this point if being at home is going to make much of a difference.