Dirk Nowitzki came up huge in Game 1 of the Mavs-Thunder series. Nowitzki scored 48 points in one of the best shooting performances that the NBA Playoffs has ever seen. On Tuesday night the Dallas Mavericks took a one game lead in the best-of-7 series, and one man deserves most of the credit for this win.
The box score for Game 1 of the Oklahoma City vs. Dallas series doesn't do the performance of Nowitzki justice. Sure, it reveals that he went 12-for-15 from the field and 24-for-24 from the free throw line, but it doesn't show just how dominant he was. It didn't matter what player was covering him on defense, he would just step back and hit a jump shot over them. The Thunder had no real chance of stopping his barrage of shots.
In addition to the 48 points that Nowitzki scored, he had six rebounds, four assists, and four blocked shots. He was showing a presence in all facets of the game, and if he continues to play like this, the series won't be going more than four games. Add in the 24 points that Jason Terry had and the 21 that J.J. Barea had off the bench, and it shows that the Thunder really have some work to do on defense.
Kevin Durant scored 40 points of his own, and he tried to match Nowitzki on shots in the fourth quarter, but even the NBA scoring leader couldn't keep up. Now the gauntlet has been laid down by the 53 percent shooting Mavericks, and they will look to gain a two game lead in the series on Thursday night in Dallas.
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