It was a two-man game for much of the night in Dallas as Dirk Nowitzki and Kevin Durant went toe-to-toe in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals. While Durant was excellent, Nowitzki was other-worldly and it paid-off for the Mavericks as they pulled away en route to a 121-112 win.
Nowitzki scored a game-high 48 points on just 15 shots in what was one of the more efficient performances you’ll ever see. He was perfect from the charity stripe, setting a new NBA playoff record by connected on all 24 of his free throw attempts.
JJ Barea and Jason Terry were each outstanding off the bench and provided a much-needed lift while complimenting Nowitzki. Terry added 24 points to the mix and Barea scored 24 points, including 12-straight at one point, almost exclusively on pick-and-rolls. Jason Kidd was also in double-figures with 11 points.
Durant had a team-high 40 points for the Thunder, but Nowitzki’s outstanding third quarter put Oklahoma City in far too deep a hole. Russell Westbrook added 20 points, but connected on just three of 15 shots from the floor while doing his damage at the free throw line.