Thunder mauled Mavs, take commanding 3-0 series lead

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(Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Oklahoma City Thunder get off to a quick start, on their way to a 95-79 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday night for a commanding 3-0 series lead over the defending NBA champions.

After two close games on their home court, the young Thunder ran away in Game 3.

The Mavericks never led in the game, while Oklahoma stretched their margin to as high as 26 points.

Kevin Durant finished with 31 points on 11-of-15 shooting and added six assist, three rebounds and two steals.

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Spurs less Parker rolled over Mavericks

This article is cross posted at Spurs Basketball.

With Tony Parker sitting out because of a strained left hamstring, Manu Ginobili started at the point and delivered 11 points, seven assists and seven rebounds in 28 minutes of action, leading the San Antonio Spurs to a 104-87 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night.

Jackson has provided an added spark since he came back in San Antonio (Photo via Spurs Nation).

Danny Green added 18 points, Tim Duncan 15 points and 12 rebounds and Matt Bonner added 14 off the Spurs bench to improve their team record to 31-14 and hold a tight grip at the second-seed on the West.

Parker,  missed his third game of the season, but his absence didn’t seem to distract the Spurs, who had seven assists in the first quarter alone and finished with 28 total.

San Antonio led 24-21 after the first quarter and maintained their advantage throughout the game with the exception of a two-minute spurt by Dallas.

Jason Terry’s 18-foot jumper with five minutes remaining in the third quarter gave the Mavericks a 60-58 advantage, their first lead since 4-2 two minutes into the game. The Spurs responded quickly, however, closing the quarter on a 12-3 run to gain a decisive advantage.

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Video: Game Recap – Spurs rout Mavs 93-71

The San Antonio Spurs notch their 5th home win of the season using a blistering perimeter shooting to start the game.

The Mavericks tried to put up a better effort during the second half, but both looked tired because of their heavy game schedules.

In the end, the Spurs prevailed because of the big cushion they built early in the game, and of course some timely defense didn’t hurt.

San Antonio gave Dallas a Texas Beat Down

On the second night of back-to-backs and their first season game against their rival the Dallas Mavericks, the San Antonio Spurs used a scorching perimeter game to jump out to a 29-11 lead during the first quarter and finished the opening period with 31-17 advantage.

Tony Parker attacks the basket against Lamar Odom and Dominique Jones.

Mavericks point guard Jason Kidd injured his lower back in the first quarter,   checked out with 24.7 seconds left in the period and did not return.

Meanwhile, the Spurs hardly missed Manu Ginobili as they won their second home victory in two nights without the wily Argentine.

San Antonio made a season-best 16 three-pointers and shot a blistering 48.5 percent from beyond the arc (16-33 ) as they blow the game wide open in the first quarter as Dallas never recovered.

Matt Bonner led the Spurs with 17 points including five 3-pointers, Richard Jefferson had a great all around game with 16 points, seven rebounds, three assists and one steal, Gary Neal made the most of his first start of the season finishing with 12 points, five rebounds, two steals and one assists in 20 minutes of action.

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Amnesty cuts: Who could be on the chopping block?

Last week, it was reported that an amnesty provision could be a part of the new labor agreement. With that in mind, it would be interesting to talk about on which players should be released by their NBA teams once the provsion takes effect.

Here’s how each Southwest division teams could use their amnesty clause.

DALLAS MAVERICKS

Brendan Haywood. The Mavericks are set to pay Haywood $45.4 million through 2016 for being a backup center.

Tyson Chandler has done a great job on the middle, helping the Mavs win their first NBA title. With former Spur Ian Mahinmi in tow, I believe Haywood is dispensable.

SAN ANTONIO SPURS

I don’t hate Richard Jefferson, but should the Spurs elect to use their amnesty provision this one is a “no-brainer”, Jefferson should be the one to cut. He is set to make $9.3 million, $10.1 million, and $11 million over the next three years.

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Spurs looking for point guard depth: How about Barea?

The NBA lockout is still in full effect, and it looks like it isn’t going to be resolved soon, but that shouldn’t stop us from planning ahead and thinking on what the San Antonio Spurs can do to improve their current roster.

With George Hill being traded, and Chris Quinn signing with a Russian team, the Spurs are now thin on point guard rotation.

Don’t get me wrong, Tony Parker remains one of the better point guards in the league and rookie Cory Joseph looks promising, but adding another reliable ball handler wouldn’t hurt either.

With that in mind, how about targeting free agent point guard Juan Jose Barea?

Barea is arguably a crucial part of the Dallas Mavericks’ championship run, as he provided spurts of energy, scoring and forced defenses to adjust when he penetrated the lane at will on his off the bench role.

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Former Spur Mahinmi won his first NBA title

After two disappointing seasons with the San Antonio Spurs, Ian Mahinmi was waived by San Antonio and was eventually picked up by the Dallas Mavericks to add depth to their big man rotation.

Ian Mahinmi shoots as Udonis Haslem tries to block his shot during Game 3 of the 2011 NBA Finals.

The 6-foot-11 center from France was selected at the 28th pick by the Spurs in the first round of the 2005 NBA draft.

Mahinmi saw his first NBA action in 2007-08, when he played in six games for the Spurs. That season, he played in 46 games for the Austin Toros of the NBA D-League, averaging 16.8 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.7 blocks.

His 2008-09 season was wiped out by a recurring ankle injury.

In his last season in San Antonio, he played in 26 games for the Spurs and averaged 3.9 points and 2.0 rebounds.

Signed by the Mavericks this offseason, Mahinmi remains a project, he averaged 3.1 points and 2.2 rebounds in 56 regular season games with the Mavericks. 

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Mavericks one win away from NBA title

Behind another strong effort from Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Terry and J.J. Barea, the Dallas Mavericks are one win away from winning their first NBA crown.

Nowitzki led the Mavericks with 29 points and six rebounds. He went 50 percent from the field and gone 10-of-10 from the foul line.

His baseline dunk put the Mavericks ahead 102-100 as they won Game 5 112-103 and take a 3-2 series lead over the Miami Heat.

NBA Finals: Mavs or Heat?

The NBA Finals is down between the Dallas Mavericks and the Miami Heat, who would you rather choose Spurs fans?

Like it or not, one of these two teams will be the NBA champion for the 2010-11 season.

Not satisfied with the poll choices above? Share your thoughts at the comment section.

Bynum Suspended Five Games

Andrew Bynum has been suspended for the first five games of next season for his flagrant foul on Dallas guard J.J. Barea in Los Angeles’ final playoff game.

The NBA announced the suspension Tuesday, two days after Bynum was ejected for the foul in the two-time defending champions’ 36-point loss to the Dallas Mavericks in Game 4.

With 8:21 left in Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinal series, and the Lakers down by 32 points, Barea beat Steve Blake off the dribble, drove the lane and soared to the basket for what looked like an uncontested layup.

However, Bynum closed in and threw a right elbow into Barea’s ribs. The Mavericks’ guard flew sideways to the court and remained there writhing in pain.

Because of the incident, Bynum was expecting a suspension from the league.

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