Hardened Thunder outshoot Mavs in Game 2!

Kevin Durant gets the much-needed split in Game 2
(image by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
OKC over DAL, 106-100 (Series tied 1-1)

In a series where Jason Terry is tagged as the best off-the-bench player, it was Oklahoma’s James Harden who stole the show.

James Harden outplayed
Jason Terry in Game 2
(image by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Harden led a resilient Thunder bench mob to mop up in the 4th quarter and steal one in Dallas. The OKC bench outscored their Texan counterparts, 39-29, en route to winning two nights after Dirk Nowitzki shot the lights out in Game 1.

Harden contributed 24 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assist, 2 steals, and 4 triples to ably provide support to All-Star Kevin Durant, who netted 24 markers on 11-of-23 shooting.

So prolific were the Thunder reserves that, save for Durant, all the starters sat out most of the final period. It was an undoubtedly gutsy call by Oklahoma coach Scott Brooks, but his risk paid off in the end.

Dirk himself didn’t really have a bad shooting night (10-of-17 FG shooting), but his 29 points was afar from the 48 he put up a game earlier. Jason Kidd had an all-around performance (13 points, 5 boards, 7 dimes and 5 swipes), same with Tyson Chandler (15 points and 13 caroms), but it was Terry who was inconspicuously “absent” in Game 2. The usually hot-shooting guard made just 3-of-9 shots, no threes, and had 3 turnovers. Getting outplayed by his Oklahoma counterpart proved to be the significant factor here.

And it will continue to be a recurring theme as the series plays out.
Russell Westbrook was benched
late in Game 2
(image by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Which should serve as a wake-up call for Brooks’s other All-Star, Russell Westbrook. He scored 18 points, and dished out 4 assists, but he played a relatively paltry 28 minutes, which is a testament to how Brooks will shuffle his roster. KD is the only sacred cow, and Westbrook has to prove himself each second he’s on the hardwood. He will undoubtedly try to comeback strong in front of the hometown crowd in game 3, but that could be a blessing or a curse for the Thunder.

And if indeed Westbrook doesn’t play complimentary to Brooks’s gameplan, then Brooks can rest assured someone else is all but eager to take on the role of #2 closer. And he goes by the name James Harden.

Dirk Nowitzki couldn't carry the Mavs this time around
(image by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
You are excused to watch this dunk on YouTube multiple times
(image by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) 
It's clear this isn't a romantic affair
(image by the AP)
Eric Maynor played big down the stretch for OKC
(image by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

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