);
Dallas Mavericks

Canadian moment of the week: Dwight Powell's vicious alley-oop finish

dwight-powell-dunk-thunder-111218-ftr-nba-getty
Dwight Powell dunks over the Oklahoma City Thunder (NBA Getty Images)

While Jamal Murray's 48-point outburst on Monday was the performance of the week, Dwight Powell (Toronto, ON) delivered the Canadian moment of the week on Saturday night.

It began as a routine pick-and-roll in the second quarter of the Mavs game against the Thunder, but it quickly escalated into a momentum-changing play.

Powell, who was guarded by 6-foot-11 Thunder centre Nerlens Noel, initially intended to set a screen for his J.J. Barea but instead slipped as a result of Thunder guard Raymond Felton's awareness of the incoming pick. Noel was forced to hedge and discourage Barea while Powell had an open lane to make a hard dive towards the rim.

The defensive shuffle set up the perfect situation for Barea to lob it to his screener, who was met by Noel at the rim. Powell, who has gained a reputation for his explosiveness, finished with a two-handed dunk over the outstretched arm of Noel, who already has three multiple-block performances in a reserve role this year.

Even future hall of famer Dirk Nowitzki, who was serving as a guest analyst on the Mavs broadcast, couldn't contain his excitement.

In the eight minutes of game play after Powell's dunk, the Mavericks would outscore the Thunder 30-11, leading by as many as 24 points in the second quarter. He finished the night with seven points and three rebounds in 20 minutes of action and the Mavericks went on to earn a 15-point win, snapping the Thunder's seven-game win streak.

Through 12 games, the Toronto native is averaging a career-high 8.6 points on 66.7 percent shooting from the field to go along with 3.6 rebounds. In the 2017-18 season, Powell threw down a team-high 96 dunks in 79 games; his 12 dunks in this young season suggest that there will be plenty more above-the-rim highlights to come.

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