The Dallas Mavericks looked much better than expected in most of Game 1 of their Western Conference playoff series against the Oklahoma City Thunder, but Game 1 will not be remembered for their performance, or even how good the game was as a whole. Game 1 was defined by Kevin Durant's spectacular game-winning shot that prevented OKC from starting the playoffs with a home loss.
Durant's shot was spectacular and a great ending to a great game, but it masked a lot about what was wrong with the Thunder on Saturday. Kendrick Perkins, Derek Fisher, Nick Collison and Daequan Cook all played significant minutes and combined for zero points. Thabo Sefolosha only scored five. The Thunder's other 94 points were all scored by four players.
Durant finished the game with 25 points, but was contained -- at least by his standards -- by Shawn Marion. He shot just 10-27 from the floor, and the Thunder aren't going to be able to consistently win throughout the playoffs while Durant is struggling from the floor and getting no help from Perkins, Sefolosha and bench players not named James Harden.
Dirk Nowitzki was a bit more efficient from the floor than Durant, but Oklahoma City did a good job of limiting his opportunities. He scored 25 points on 8-18 shooting from the floor. Jason Terry was excellent in an 8-10 shooting performance off the bench, helping to keep the Mavericks in the game until the end, but that level of production will be difficult to sustain. If the Mavericks can't get the ball to Nowitzki more often, they're going to need secondary players to score, even more so than Oklahoma City.
Game Time: 9:30 p.m. ET, Monday
Location: Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, Okla.
For more on the Thunder, check out Thunder blog Welcome To Loud City and SB Nation Kansas City. For more on the Mavs, head to Mavericks blog Mavs Moneyball and SB Nation Dallas. For more on the 2012 NBA Playoffs visit SB Nation's dedicated NBA hub.