Saturday May 5th NBA Playoffs Prediction: Oklahoma City vs Dallas Game 4
Saturday, May 05, 2012
To be the champ, you have to beat the champ – and the Oklahoma City Thunder appear to be embracing that mantra. The visiting Thunder can end the reign of the defending NBA champions and complete a series sweep in Game 4 against the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday night.
After two narrow home victories, the Thunder overwhelmed Dallas in Game 3 behind 31 points from league scoring champ Kevin Durant. No team in NBA history has ever overcome a 3-0 series deficit.
Oklahoma City Thunder : Durant rebounded from a pair of subpar shooting performances by scoring 15 first-quarter points to set the tone for Oklahoma City’s romp in Game 3. All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook helped break the game open with 11 points in the third quarter, but it was unexpected contributions that left the Mavericks dazed and on the brink of elimination. Backup guards Derek Fisher and Daequan Cook had all the points in 15-1 run bridging the third and fourth quarter as the Thunder moved within one victory of avenging last season's five-game series loss to Dallas.
Dallas Mavericks : Falling behind by 15 points early put Dallas' aging core at a serious disadvantage. While the Mavericks were the comeback kings en route to the NBA title last season, star forward Dirk Nowitzki realizes the immediate goal is much more modest. "We have to win a game. We need to show some pride on Saturday.” Nowitzki torched Oklahoma City for a pair of 40-point performances in last season's playoffs, but with the Mavericks trailing by five points moments into the second half and the game hanging in the balance, he mustered only one point in the quarter.
The Mavericks, who have never been swept
in the playoffs, are trying to avoid becoming the first reigning champ to be
ousted in the first round since the Miami Heat in 2007.
2. Oklahoma City committed a season-low eight turnovers Thursday – half its NBA-worst 16.0 average.
3. Nowitzki was held without an assist for only the second time in his last 26 postseason games.
NBA BASKETBALL PREDICTION: Thunder 97, Mavericks 94
- Game 3 NBA Playoffs Odds: Oklahoma City Thunder at Dallas Mavericks
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- Vegas NBA Odds: Kevin Durant and Oklahoma City Visiting Dallas
- NBA Playoffs Betting: Wild Wild West, Thunder and Mavericks
- NBA Predictions and Picks: Dallas Mavericks at Oklahoma City Thunder