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Mavericks vs. Thunder: Game 2 Score and Twitter Reaction from 2016 NBA Playoffs

Published by Bleacher Report on Tue, 19 Apr 2016

Steven Adams was the hero for the Oklahoma City Thunder after Monday's playoff game against the Dallas Mavericks at Chesapeake Energy Arena. That is, he was the herountil a replay showed the dreaded red light signaling the end of the game while the ball was still in his hands. The Mavericks won Game 2, 85-84, and tied the series at one game apiece. Adams appeared to hit the game-winning basket after an offensive rebound at the buzzer, but he did not get it off in time, via NBA Official:Safe to say, he was not pleased:The postseason cliche in the NBA is the series doesn't start until somebody loses a home game, which means the first-round clash between the Thunder and Mavericks has officially begun. Dallas not only earned the road victory, but it did so after dropping Game 1 in embarrassing fashion, 108-70.Raymond Felton led the way for Dallas with 21 points and 11 rebounds, while Dirk Nowitzki chipped in 17 points and four rebounds. Despite the performance from Felton, it was the Mavericks defense on Kevin Durant that also helped Dallas steal a contest on the road.Although Durant scored 21 points, he was a nightmarish 7-of-33 from the field. He also missed a handful of shots down the stretch in the fourth quarter. Russell Westbrookstruggled from the field at 8-of-22 on his way to 19 points, but he added 14 rebounds and six assists.With Oklahoma City's superstars struggling with the shot, the Mavericks wasted little time setting the tone. Dallas seized an 18-11 advantage with 5:35 remaining in the first quarter behind the hot shooting of Deron Williams. Williams scored 11 of his team's first 18 points, which prompted this comparison from Dwain Price of theFort Worth Star-Telegram:Williams was doubtful for the game with a sports hernia, per Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com, but he looked explosive with the ball in his hands. Tim Cato of SB Nation said "that's a good sign from [Williams]. He talked about how much pain he's in, but quick burst to the rack right [there]."Williams and the Mavericks took a 24-20 lead into the second quarter, and Lang Whitaker of NBA.com said the Thunder were "sleepwalking a bit" after their blowout win in Game 1.The Thunder battled back to tie the game at 32 when Anthony Morrow drilled a three-pointer with 6:50 left until halftime. SB Nation's Mavs Moneyball realized Dallas' best option in this series may be out of its hands:Questionable supporting cast or not, Westbrook connected on a three-pointer with 2:01 before halftime to put the Thunder up, 43-40. MacMahon said, "There's a strong [Westbrook] takeover vibe right now" after the triple.Dallas fought through that vibe and took a 45-43 lead into the halftime locker room after Nowitzki hit a jumper in the final seconds.After struggling through that first half, the Thunder enforced their will early in the third quarter. Oklahoma City built a 58-50 advantage with 5:43 left in the third.What's more, Williams was clearly limping, and Eddie Sefko of theDallas Morning Newshad a suggestion for the Mavericks:However, Williams wasn't the only Dallas point guard who was making plays. Felton brought Dallas back to within two points with an impressive and-1, via NBA on TNT:Dallas was still within striking distance at the end of the third quarter and trailed by three, 62-59. Part of the problem for the Thunder was the fact Durant was an abysmal 5-of-23 from the field through the first 36 minutes. Royce Young of ESPN.com commented on the superstar's struggles:Fortunately for the Thunder, they had Westbrook running the show. The point guard scored 17 points through the first three quarters and prompted this response from ESPN's Ryen Russillo:The Mavericks took advantage of Durant's struggles and captured the lead early in the fourth quarter. Young said, "Durant's gonna have to try real hard not to pick up a tech. His frustration level is rising." However, Durant made sure he sent his next field-goal attempt through when he dunked with both hands to put the Thunder up 73-69 with 7:30 left, via the NBA:It looked like Oklahoma City finally took control when Serge Ibaka hit a three after Durant's dunk to put the home team up 76-69. However, Dallas found yet another answer and took a 79-78 lead with 4:18 remaining behind two straight Felton baskets.CBS Sports NBA had some fun with the 31-year-old Felton's performance:The two teams traded blows and were tied at 81 with less than one minute left. Young pointed out the Mavericks missed multiple chances during the critical stretch:That gave Felton the opportunity to slice through the lane and finish at the rim with 28 seconds left to put the Mavericks up, 83-81. The ice-cold Durant missed a mid-range shot on the ensuing possession and then had a chance to put the Thunder ahead with a three-pointer after an Adams offensive rebound.He bricked that one as well, andWesley Matthews grabbed the ball and scored on the other end to put the Mavericks ahead 85-81 with 14 seconds left. It looked to be over, but Durant finally hit a three with nine seconds left to close the gap to 85-84.Felton then clanked two straight free throws, and the Thunder sprinted down the court. Durant and Westbrook both missed game-winning chances, but Adams sent the crowd into hysterics when he scored his basket at the buzzer.The only problem was he didn't get it off in time. Dallas held on by the narrowest of margins, 85-84.What's Next'Theseries shifts back to Dallas for Game 3 on Thursday, and the Mavericks will look to parlay their momentum into another victory, this time on their home floor.Despite the dramatic win for Dallas, there is still plenty to like from Oklahoma City's perspective. For one, the Mavericks needed a minor miracle at the end of Monday's game to still win, even though Durant was dreadful from the field. Chances are the electrifying star won't struggle like that again in Game 3.What's more, there are legitimate questions about Williams' health after he was hobbled during Monday's contest and only played 26 minutes. Losing him would hurt after he started Game 2 with the hot hand.For now, the Mavericks can celebrate their victory, but the Thunder should not lose hope. Even if they did lose home-court advantage.
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