Dirk Nowitzki led the Dallas Mavericks to the victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder 121-112, in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals.
Mavericks have not played in over a week and the rest seemed to pay off for one of the oldest teams in the NBA.
Nowitzki, was two points shy of tying his career playoff high Tuesday, when he scored 48 points along with his six rebounds, four assist and four blocks.
Nowitzki scored his 48 points, while going 12-15 shooting, and set a playoff-record by making all 24 of his free throw shot attempts without missing.
Nowitzki broke the record that was held by Paul Pierce, who shot 23 straight free throws without missing in 2003.
At the end of the game, Nowitzki could have cared less about his stats or any records as long as they won the game.
“Numbers do not count if you do not win” Nowitzki said.
The Mavericks ran away with the lead after going on a 16-3 run to end the 1st half and never trailed in the game again.
Jason Terry and JJ Barea lead the Mavericks’ bench by scoring 45 of the bench’s 53 points.
Thunder’s Kevin Durant had 40 points going 18 for 19 from the free throw line, along with 8 rebounds, 5 rebounds in a losing effort as he tried to keep the game close.
Durant’s teammate Russell Westbrook had 20 points, three rebounds and three assists.
Westbrook had missed 12 of his first 15 shots, including 10 of his first 11.
The Mavericks have now won seven straight games since giving up a huge lead to the Portland Trailblazers in game four of the first round.
Mavericks are 17-0 this season when Nowitzki has at least 10 free throws attempts, including 5-0 in the playoffs.
Mavericks will play the Thunder back in Dallas on Thursday night where the Mavericks are 6-0 in the postseason this year.