After their Game 2 defeat in Dallas, one could have forgiven the Mavericks for coming out a little low for Game 3 before Oklahoma City's raucous crowd. If its blistering start to Game 3 is any indication, Dallas isn't interested in being forgiven for anything: the Mavericks pummeled the Thunder in the first quarter of Game 3, and hold a 27-12 lead heading into the second period.
The Mavericks were dominant on both ends in the first quarter, building a lead that stretched to 17 points at one juncture by shooting better than 50% from the field — Shawn Marion leads the Mavs with eight points — and stifling Oklahoma City by relentlessly double-teaming Kevin Durant. That led to lots of long jumpers and poor shots; no Oklahoma City player made more than one shot in the Thunder's nightmarish first quarter, which including just four makes on 17 field goal attempts.
The Thunder's fans were less than disheartened by the home team's struggles: most of the crowd remained standing throughout the quarter, clearly appreciative of their team's efforts in producing the first-ever Western Conference Finals game in Oklahoma City.
Now, if only the Thunder show up for the game, too.