Luck came a day early for the Mavericks.
In a place they hadn’t won since their 2011 march to the NBA title, the Mavs caught a break last night as the Oklahoma City Thunder were without three starters including All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook. And on the night before they’d host the Boston Celtics on St. Patrick’s Day, the Mavs took advantage of their good fortune.
Without Dirk Nowitzki or Monta Ellis cracking 20 points, Dallas rolled the Thunder by 23 points for its first win in Oklahoma City since Game 4 of the 2011 Western Conference Finals. And the Mavs hadn’t beaten the Thunder anywhere since Jan. 12, 2012, mounting an 11-game losing streak against the team it may very well face in the first round of the playoffs next month.
Tainted or not, a win in Oklahoma City is a major positive.
And, actually, the Mavs coasted. Because they moved the ball (26 assists) and shot the ball (13 3-pointers) so well, most of the fourth quarter was garbage time. A laugher up I-35. Who’da thunk it?
That unexpected rest for Dirk will come in handy tonight as the Mavs tip off a season-high, eight-game homestand against the lowly Celtics. Of the eight games, only two are against teams with losing records and one of those (the Denver Nuggets) is 3-0 against Dallas this season.
Since their season-high three-game losing streak the Mavs have rebounded to win four of five including another signature victory against the Thunder. By the time this homestand ends April 2, the Mavs should have the playoffs locked up and perhaps even a legitimate sniff at the No. 6 seed.
If, that is, they continue to be lucky.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently writes a sports/guy stuff blog at DFWSportatorium.com and lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.