The Dallas Mavericks surprised a lot of people on Saturday night. Heading into the postseason, everyone had written the defending champs off as officially done – totally incapable of repeating their 2011 success. Then they came out and made the Oklahoma City Thunder -- the popular pick as the team to emerge from the West this year -- work for every single bucket, and suddenly they didn’t seem as done as we originally believed.
Unfortunately, you don’t get half a win for making the other team work hard. Despite the Mavericks’ undeniably impressive showing, ultimately they fell to the Thunder thanks to this fantastic game-winner by Kevin Durant:
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The first game of a playoff series is always the one you want to steal. The fact that the Mavs played as well as they did but ultimately weren’t able to do so means that, when it’s all said and done, they’re probably doing down in five or six.