Remember when the Mavericks were like the big brother in this little I-35 rivalry?

No more. The Thunder has grown up. They clearly took the upper hand in the series last year when they skunked the Mavericks in the first round of the playoffs. After two overtime wins to start this season, the Thunder completely squashed the Mavericks on Monday.

“They took a huge step,” Dirk Nowitzki said of the Thunder’s arrival. “They went to the Finals last year, and to me, they were actually the favorites to win it the way they ran through the whole Western Conference.

“Obviously, now they’re more experienced. Going through tough times, you learn from losing tough games. They got a really tough team.”