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NBA Playoffs 2011: Mavericks Vs. Thunder, Game Three

The Western Conference Finals shifts to Oklahoma City on Saturday night as the Thunder play host to the Dallas Mavericks in Game 3 of the best-of-seven series. The two teams split the first games in Dallas, with the Mavericks winning Game 1 behind an historic performance from Dirk Nowitzki while the Thunder responded with a win in Game 2 to avoid going down two games to none.

In the 106-100 Game 2 loss, Dallas only shot 43.8% from the field - down nearly 10% from the 53.4% mark in the Game 1 win. Nowitzki once again led the Mavs in scoring as well in Game 2, scoring 29 points. 

Perhaps the biggest difference, though, was Jason Terry. Terry shot 50% from the field en route to 24 points in Game 1, but was only three for nine in Game 2, scoring just eight points. 

Oklahoma City also has their own problem on their hand as well: Russell Westbrook. Westbrook was benched for the end of the third quarter and entire fourth quarter during Oklahoma City's Game 2 win. Westbrook has more turnovers than assists thus far in the Western Conference Finals, and it will be interesting to see how much of a leash Westbrook is given in Game 3 - and how Dallas responds when Westbrook is out of the lineup as well.

The Mavericks will need to stop James Harden, who was excellent off the bench in Game 2 for Oklahoma City. Harden scored 23 points while grabbing seven rebounds and dishing out four assists - without a turnover in Game 2 for the Thunder. Dallas will have to come up with a defensive answer if they're to take a 2-1 series lead.

Tipoff is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. CDT. Televised coverage for Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals can be found on ESPN.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.