Given the post-game reaction to Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Dallas Mavericks, and how razor-focused it was on Russell Westbrook, who didn't play at all in the fourth quarter, you'd have thought the Thunder had lost. This was considered by many to be the end of the age of innocence for the Thunder, the moment their image as a Pollyanna team lovin' life and everyone was sullied with the truth, the truth that they are as flawed as all other teams.
And, again, they won.
The result will be all that matters again in Game 3 (9 p.m. ET, ESPN), which will be held back in OKC at the Ford Center, a gym sure to be deafening in its support for the Thunder. But Dallas has been just fine on the road in these playoffs; after dropping the team's first two games in Portland, the Mavericks have won three straight road games. The Thunder have been far better at home (6-2) than on the road (3-4) in the postseason; so much of OKC's success comes at the foul line, and teams tend to draw more fouls at home.
Dirk Nowitzki had been great everywhere; stick him on Neptune and he'd dropped 20, at least. In Game 2, he chilled a bit, but he's still playing better than anyone in this postseason, and so long as he's right, Dallas can beat any team. That's quite a luxury to have; with streaky scorers elsewhere on the team and some strong interior defenders, Dallas really is a chore.