By Seth McCaskill
Thunder deadly from 3-point range
The Thunder went off from the 3-point line, shooting 50 percent in their win against the Mavs. They stayed ahead for most of the game because of this efficiency and were never in serious danger.
George and Westbrook dominate in Anthony’s absence
With Carmelo Anthony nursing a sore back, the Thunder’s other two stars, Russell Westbrook and Paul George, were needed to pick up the slack, and they certainly did. The duo combined for 64 points and absolutely dominated in all areas of the game, as they were a plus-34. This is the kind of performance the Thunder hope to have out of their stars every night, and it is certainly encouraging to see this kind of performance without Anthony on the floor.
Matthews and Nowitzki shut down
One of the biggest keys to the Thunder’s victory was shutting down two key cogs of the Mavs’ offense, Wes Matthews and Dirk Nowitzki. Matthews, who participated in the 3-point contest last season, failed to make a shot, and Dirk was held to 2-of-7 overall and 0-of-5 from 3-point range. If you are able to shut down those two players, you should not have any trouble beating the Mavericks, and the Thunder certainly did not on Sunday night.