With Nowitzki's Career Night Behind, Thunder Look To Rebound In - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

With Nowitzki's Career Night Behind, Thunder Look To Rebound In Game Two

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Dallas, TX -

The Oklahoma City Thunder look to steal home court advantage tonight when they take on the red hot Dallas Mavericks, hoping Dirk Nowitzki isn't still on fire.

Despite Nowitzki going for 48 points on 12-of-15 field goals and an NBA playoff record 24-of-24 at the free throw line, the Thunder were within five points with less than four minutes to play.

Tonight, head coach Scott Brooks wants his defenders to foul Dirk less and try to make it harder for the 7-footer to receive the ball in the first place.

Oklahoma City will also hope to get a better shooting night from Russell Westbrook, who went 3-of-15 from the field in the game one loss.

Every time he has faced criticism, Westbrook has bounced back. In the last series, when Memphis stole game one after Westbrook shot 9-of-23 and had more turnovers (7) than assists (6), he bounced back, helping the Thunder win four of the next six games, including a triple double in the Game 7 clincher.

Oklahoma City's bench will also play a big factor in whether or not the Thunder come away with a win. In eight playoff victories, the bench averaged 37 points. In the five losses, just 21.

Tonight's game is scheduled for an 8 p.m. tip-off and can be seen on ESPN.