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Mavericks Vs. Thunder, 2012 NBA Playoffs Final Score: Dallas Loses 95-79



There's not much else to say really.

If there was any doubt as to whether this core was finished, the Dallas Mavericks embarrassing 95-79 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 3 ended it.

It's hard to pick the lowest moment out of everything that happened in the second half, but letting Derek Fisher breeze to the rim with an uncontested layup in the third quarter probably qualifies.

Rick Carlisle, in an almost admirable display of stubbornness, refused to go away from his veteran guards, letting them ride out the string in the second half as the Thunder guards treated them like turnstiles.

Kevin Durant was ruthlessly efficient throughout, scoring 31 points on 11-15 shooting.

At some point in the second half, Russell Westbrook realized he could dribble into an uncontested jumper at the free-throw line at will, finishing the night with 20 points on 8-19 shooting.

Here's a fun .gif of him pounding his chest in his second half:



Dirk Nowitzki, meanwhile, just couldn't get it going against an Oklahoma City team that was determined to be as physical as they possibly could be with him throughout. He finished with 17 points on 6-15 shooting.

In the end, the Mavericks performance proved their front office's lack of faith in them correct, as Dallas has to lick their wounds headed into the summer of 2012 and try to rebuild their team around Dirk one more time.

Just as the 2004 first-round loss to the Sacramento Kings closed the book on the Dirk / Nash / Finley era and the 2007 first-round loss signaled the end of the Dirk / Josh Howard / Devin Harris core, the Dirk / Terry / Kidd core was finished on Thursday night by the Thunder.

For further coverage of this game, stay tuned to the SB Nation Dallas storystream as well as Mavs Moneyball.

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