'Just one of those nights:' Thunder held to 78 points in loss at Mavericks
The Mavericks were 1-of-22 from 3-point range Wednesday night before Tim Hardaway Jr. drained a triple early in the third quarter to give Dallas a 10-point lead — its biggest of the night up to that point.
After missing 21 of its first 22 3-pointers, the Mavericks made four of their next five 3-pointers to build a 73-54 lead.
That 19-point margin was too big to overcome on a night when the Thunder shot a season-low 33% from the field in an 87-78 defeat at Dallas. The last time the Thunder was held to 78 points was Nov. 11, 2014 at Milwaukee. Wednesday marked the Thunder’s eighth-lowest scoring game in history.
The Thunder cracked 20 points in just one of four quarters. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had an off night, but his 15 points led the Thunder. Ty Jerome scored 13 points off the bench.
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The Thunder shot 9-of-39 (23%) from 3-point range and dished a season-low 13 assists.
“Obviously 78 is not good enough to win,” Thunder coach Mark Daigneault said. “I think some of that was controllable, and some of that wasn’t, but at the end of the day we just didn’t have enough punch offensively to win the game tonight.”
Here are four other takeaways from the game:
First half to forget
The Thunder might want to trash the whole tape, but neither team will want to rewatch the first half.
The Mavericks led 49-42 at halftime.
OKC’s 42 points tied its lowest-scoring first half of the season. The Thunder shot 14-of-40 (35%). Gilgeous-Alexander and Kenrich Williams tied for the halftime lead with eight points. Williams was the only player to score off the Thunder’s bench in the first half.
Dallas was a dreadful 1-of-19 from 3-point range in the first half.
The game moved in slow motion Wednesday night.
The Mavericks outscored the Thunder 15-7 in fastbreak points.
“We certainly would like to run, and I thought we tried to push it and run,” Daigneault said. “There were some plays where I thought we drove it hard and then got hung up in the paint, and those were transition opportunities that we just didn’t necessarily get a shot on.
“But it was slow-paced. It was a half-court game and required execution, and I thought both teams played pretty well defensively and neither team was great offensively tonight, to be honest.”
Dallas star Luka Doncic sat out Wednesday night with lower back tightness. Jalen Brunson started at point guard and had 11 points, six rebounds and four assists.
The Thunder was without Hamidou Diallo (right groin soreness) and George Hill (right thumb surgery).
Diallo will rest through the All-Star break. Hill is still in a hard cast and will be for another one to two weeks.
Rookie two-way player Josh Hall returned to the Thunder from the G League bubble. Hall was inactive against the Mavericks with left knee soreness. Hall only appeared in one game with the Blue.
Back from break
Not quite the All-Star break, but the Thunder had a nice three-day break at the end of a stretch when it played nine games in 14 days.
The Thunder was back on the floor for the first time since Saturday night, when it was blown out by the Nuggets. The team practiced on two of its three days off.
“Hard to tell,” Daigneault said when asked if the time off affected the Thunder’s rhythm. “Possibly, but I thought we were ready to play. I thought we had good energy on the defensive end of the floor. If we were just lethargic on both ends then maybe that’d be the case, but I think it was just more of a bad offensive night for us.”
“I didn’t feel like we were a step behind or anything like that, a step slow,” Gilgeous-Alexander said. “Me personally, I don’t think it had anything to really do with it. Just one of those nights.”