The Thunder were coming into this game tonight without Steven Adams for a second game in a row. What the OKC Thunder and the fans didn’t know is that they would be without Carmelo Anthony who was nursing a sore back. With Melo sitting out tonight it was all up to Paul George and the birthday boy Russell Westbrook to carry the load against the Dallas Mavericks. Russell Westbrook celebrated his birthday by rocking his Air Jordan 10 “Why Not” PE that Jordan Brand made for him after winning the MVP.

Paul George also wore a special pair of Nike PG1s that he labed “The Westbrook Party Joints” tonight.

Russell Westbrook and Paul George both went off on the Mavericks tonight and were able to get into a ryhtym for the second time in a row. Both PG-13 and the Brodie combined for 64 points tonight and took it to the Mavericks. This stretch of games have been really good for Paul George as he follows his 42 point performance with a 37 point performance. This is the Paul George that everyone envisioned touching down in OKC and now that Westbrook is learning his sweet spots the offense is flowing the way that it’s supposed too. Russell Westbrook was being his usual self and wasn’t let anything stop him from getting to the rim whenever he wanted. Westbrook had 9 points at the end of the half and ended the game with 27 points. Westbrook has used his leadership and his will to bring the Thunder team together and you can tell that the team is finding their niche right away. The bench has been able to step up as well and without Melo in the lineup Jerami Grant got the call to step up in place of the All Star. Grant had 10 points and 8 rebounds but had some thunderish dunks that has everyone wondering if he will be in the NBA Dunk Contest in February. Overall Grant has been able to step up his play and has shown that he can grow and be reliable in this system. Overall the Thunder played the way that everyone has expected them even if it was against the Mavericks. OKC has used these last couple of games to gel into what they need to be as a whole. The Defense was able to force a lot of turnovers and that turned into fast break points for the Thunder on numerous occations in the game.

The Mavericks have a special talent in Dennis Smith Jr as he poured in 15 points in his first career matchup against Russell Westbrook. Dennis Smith Jr is extremely talented and has shown that he has what it takes to get his team involved and also he’s showed that he can take over a game offensively. Most night Dennis Smith Jr is able to do as he pleases and get to the rim at any moment but the Thunder interior defense slowed that down tonight. Harrison Barnes played a great game tonight and was able to score when the Mavs needed a bucket but the offensive performance from OKC was too much to go back and forth with as they found themselves down by 21 really quick. The future for the Mavericks is very bright with Smith and Barnes running the show for the next couple of years. One thing that the Mavericks fans can bank on is that Dennis Smith Jr isn’t intimidated by Russell Westbrook and always looks forward to a matchup.

The Mavs took the loss and will look to bounce back in their next game. The Thunder will be playing against the Bulls as Cameron Payne makes his return back to OKC the team that drafted him.


Photo Credit: Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images

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