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Nowitzki, Mavericks Too Much for Thunder

Dirk Nowitzki Shoots Over Thabo Sefolosha (AP Photo) Dirk Nowitzki Shoots Over Thabo Sefolosha (AP Photo)

Originally Published: Dec 16, 2009 9:48 PM CDT

Vitals | Box Score | Recap

Gerald Goodridge
Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer

OKLAHOMA CITY -- It was the third game in four nights for the Oklahoma City Thunder, and it was clear from watching the fourth quarter.

The Thunder came back to take a lead in the fourth, but looked fatigued late and fell to the Dallas Mavericks 100-86.

For the Mavericks, it was all about Dirk Nowitzki, who scored 24 of his 35 points in the second half and shot 13 of 18 from the field and made both of his 3-pointers. Josh Howard provided big minutes off the bench for Dallas, scoring 15 points in 28 minutes.

Jeff Green had to carry the Thunder because of a poor shooting performance by superstar Kevin Durant, who shot 4-18 against Dallas. Green scored 15 and grabbed 11 rebounds, getting to his double-double only 30 seconds into the fourth quarter, his fifth of the season.

The bench was the difference maker for Oklahoma City in both scoring and momentum. Backup point guard James Harden provided the points and Serge Ibaka provided the energy.

Harden showed poise and ability well beyond most rookies and scored 12, while continuing to attack the interior of the Dallas defense late into the game. Ibaka only scored eight, but three of those came from a second-chance dunk followed by a successful foul shot halfway through the final period.

The Thunder only have two days to rest; it hosts Detroit Dec. 18.

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