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Dirk nets 19 as Mavs stop Thunder

Profile image for Schuyler Dixon
Schuyler Dixon, AP

DALLAS -- Dirk Nowitzki scored a season-high 19 points, rookie Dennis Smith held his own against Russell Westbrook on the rookie Dallas guard's 20th birthday and the Mavericks beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 97-81 on Saturday night.

A night after blowing a 15-point lead in the second half of a one-point loss to Detroit that followed a dominant win over Kevin Durant and Golden State, the Thunder fell behind for good in the first quarter of the best performance of the season from the suddenly surging Mavericks.

Smith finished with 15 points and four assists while Westbrook had 28 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists but just 12 points after a dominant quarter as the Mavericks won their third in the past four games following a 2-14 start.

Carmelo Anthony hit three of his four 3-pointers in the third quarter to help Oklahoma City close within 10, but got called for an offensive foul, his fourth, and then traveling the next time down. Yogi Ferrell's 3-pointer after the travel put Dallas up 70-53.

Anthony finished with 16 points, while Paul George scored just two points on 1-of-12 shooting but had a game-high 10 assists for the Thunder.

Nowitzki hit his season high on a 3-pointer that gave the Mavericks their biggest lead at 26, 83-57, early in the fourth quarter.

Harrison Barnes had 12 points and 12 rebounds in the first game since he banked in a 3-pointer at the buzzer off an inbounds pass with 0.5 seconds left, giving the Mavericks a 95-94 win in Memphis.

The second Smith-Westbrook matchup of the season looked one-sided early when Westbrook coaxed two quick fouls out of Smith on his way to a 16-point first quarter, one shy of Westbrook's high for a quarter this season.