Dwight Powell’s dunk with 21 seconds left Sunday afternoon gave Dallas the lead for good and the Mavericks survived in a wild 106-103 win over the host Oklahoma City Thunder.
Powell took a dish from Jalen Brunson, who hit a go-ahead basket on the Mavericks’ previous possession, and slammed the ball home for the fifth lead change in a frantic final two minutes.
Dennis Schroder and Paul George each missed would-be go-ahead 3-pointers on the Thunder’s next trip down the floor. Ryan Broekhoff was fouled after rebounding George’s miss and drained both free throws with 4.2 seconds left before Russell Westbrook missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Trey Burke scored 25 points for the Mavericks (30-46), who snapped a two-game losing streak and won for just the fifth time in their last 23 games. Brunson scored 18 points while Devin Harris had 15 points and Dwight Powell added 11 points.
Dirk Nowitzki made what could be his final game against the Thunder a memorable one by collecting a season-high 13 rebounds and adding seven points in 26 minutes. It was the first double-digit rebound effort for Nowitzki since he had 10 against the Charlotte Hornets on Mar. 24, 2018, and just the fifth time he’s played more than 25 minutes this season.
Nowitzki has played 72 regular-season games against the Thunder/Seattle Supersonics franchise, which is tied with the Houston Rockets for his third-most games against an opponent. He’s faced the San Antonio Spurs 77 times and the Memphis/Vancouver Grizzlies 74 times.
Westbrook (25 points, 11 rebounds, 11 assists) had a triple-double while Paul George (27 points, 11 rebounds) and Steven Adams (20 points, 15 rebounds) each had double-doubles for the Thunder (44-33), which began Sunday tied with the Spurs for the seventh seed in the Western Conference. Oklahoma City, which clinched a playoff berth when the Sacramento Kings lost to the Rockets on Saturday, has lost seven of nine.
Jerami Grant added 14 points for the Thunder.
The Mavericks led by as many as eight in the first and extended the lead to 14 in the second before the Thunder scored the final nine points of the half to pull within 58-56. Oklahoma City took its first lead since the first quarter at 64-62 on Adams’ layup with 7:26 left in the third.
The Mavericks opened up a 93-84 lead with a 12-4 run early in the fourth, but the Thunder responded with a 14-4 run capped by a George free throw that gave Oklahoma City a 98-97 lead with 1:59 to go.
A Brunson free throw tied the game and Burke’s layup put the Mavericks ahead 100-98. George responded with a 3-pointer but Brunson then hit a jumper as Dallas retook the lead. George and Schroder both missed shots before Grant capped the possession with a layup to give the Thunder the lead for the last time.
—Field Level Media