Matrix Reloaded! Mavs maul Thunder in Game 3 of the West Finals!

Dallas made OKC's life difficult throughout Game 3
(image by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

DAL over OKC, 93-87 (DAL up 2-1)

Shawn Marion is not the one you know from the mid-2000s, when he used to make a living above the rim as the chief recipient of Steve Nash’s lobs. This season he logged a career-low 28 minutes per game, averaging a very un-Marion-like 12.5 points, 7 boards and 1 steal an outing.

Shawn Marion was his old
high-flying self
(image by Laeey W. Smith/Getty Images)

He was past his prime. Like many of the players on Dallas’s roster, he was considered over-the-hump. Together with the likes of Jason Kidd and Peja Stojakovic, this was a team that appeared built for any season between 2001 to 2006, but not for the 2011 Playoffs.

But Marion, like his fellow over-the-humpers, are turning heads and making people reminisce about the good old days of 21st century NBA basketball. The man-formerly-known-as-the-Matrix scored 18 points, grabbed 4 rebounds, stole the ball twice and blocked 2 shots in 37 minutes of action. It was the Marion we all knew and loved, and Nash was nowhere to help him pad his stats too. He was Dallas’s best player in Game 3, and now they have retaken the home-court edge.

And as for his fellow “oldies?” Peja had 7 points and 1 triple, and Jason Kidd finished with 13 markers, 8 dimes, 6 caroms and 4 swipes. Not too shabby.

Dirk Nowitzki, still the Mavs’ main man after all these years, had a series-low 18 points, shot 7-of-21 from the field, had 7 turnovers and was blocked 4 times. Shabby, but good enough to keep the Oklahoma City Thunder at bay. Good enough to prevent a collapse reminiscent of what happened against Portland several weeks ago.

Now Rick Carlisle has a chance pad their series advantage in Game 4 and perhaps an opportunity to close things out at home in Game 5, but that might be getting ahead of ourselves.
KD struggled all night
(image by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Kevin Durant’s double-double belied his bad shooting, and though Russell Westbrook made 30 points, he committed 7 turnovers. Yet they still made things interesting in the fourth canto. Scott Brooks’s ploy of finishing with his bench didn’t produce the same results as in the previous game, and he’ll have to pull something else out from his sleeve or the Thunder stand to lose their next few games.

The Thunder have to find a way to reload for Game 4 because these Mavs and their over-the-hump vets have done just that. Dallas, led by the Matrix, reloaded.

Dirk Nowitzki is just 2 wins away from the NBA Finals
(image by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
James Harden was hardly a factor in Game 3
(image by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
The Jet came off the bench to score in double figures
(image by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Russell Westbrook rebounded with 30 points
(image by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

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