OKLAHOMA CITY — The intensity in the Mavs and Thunder playoff series has taken a quantum leap forward thanks to a first quarter altercation between Dirk Nowitzki and Kendrick Perkins.
Nowtizki bumped Perkins with his shoulder, and the two jawed at each other after a rough possession when as the players jostled for position in the lane.
Both were given technical fouls, but not before Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle and Perkins exchanged a few choice words.
Going into Game 2, Carlisle told his team he needed them to be more physical, and the Mavs leader responded. Nowitzki also kept this one from turning into a blowout, scoring 20 first half points to keep the Mavs in it, down 57-50 at the midway point.
The Thunder led by as many as 16 points midway through the second quarter. Russell Westbrook led OKC with 15 points; Kevin Durant tossed in 14.
Thunder backup guard Derek Fisher helped his team surge to a double-digit lead, coming off the bench to score 8 in the second quarter.