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Dallas Mavericks Edge Oklahoma City Thunder Despite Dirk Nowitzki’s Struggles in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals

Scoring by Periods
_____ 1     2     3     4       F
DAL– 27- 25- 18- 23— 93
OKC– 12- 24- 20- 31— 87

Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki struggled from the field by shooting 7 of 21, with 18 points, but was still able to lead his team to a 93 to 87 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder Saturday night.  With the win the Mavs took a 2 games to 1 lead over the Thunder in the Western Conference Finals.

DeShawn Stevenson #92 and Shawn Marion #0 of the Dallas Mavericks celebrate the win (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Mavericks forward Shawn Marion tied Nowitzki with the team lead in points with 18.  In 38 minutes Marion shot 9 of 13 from the field, with 4 rebounds and 2 blocks.

Dallas controlled the first half with a 53-36 halftime lead over the Thunder.  They were then outscored in both the third and fourth periods while they held on for the win.

The Mavericks weren’t the only team with a struggling star.  The Thunders’ Kevin Durant also struggled from the field, hitting just 7 of 22 shots to finish with 24 points and 12 rebounds. Russell Westbrook responded to a fourth-quarter benching in Game 2 with 30 points in last night’s game, helping the Thunder rally from 23 points down to make it interesting in the final minutes.

Dallas had already blown a 23-point lead in the final 13 minutes in the first round at Portland, and led by 22 with 17 minutes to go this time.

Even with Nowitzki struggling, the Mavericks leaned on the big German with the Thunder closing the gap. Nowitzki got the ball on 10 of 11 possessions and scored just three times, but it was enough to keep Oklahoma City at bay.

Westbrook and Daequan Cook each missed 3-pointers that could’ve gotten the Thunder within three, and Westbrook then lost the ball out of bounds before Jason Terry’s jumper stretched the advantage to 86-78 with 1:42 remaining.

Game 4 is Monday night at 8 o’clock in Oklahoma City.

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Information from the Associated Press used in this report

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