It wasn't an ideal shot.

Terrance Ferguson was a step inside the 3-point line, which hardly is the most efficient spot on the floor from which to launch. But the Thunder rookie rose up anyway, and with confidence.

He sank a second-quarter jumper in the Thunder's 97-81 loss to the Mavericks on Saturday night that was surprising not only because Ferguson didn't shy away from it, but because he was on the court in the first place.

Ferguson played 14 first-half minutes Saturday at American Airlines Center. He entered the game having played 14 first-half minutes all season. He finished with season highs in minutes (21) and points (seven), making 3 of 5 shots.

Ferguson's first-quarter appearance was surprising given his limited first-half action, but not shocking from Thunder coach Billy Donovan, who's known to tinker with his rotations. He stuck with Ferguson in the second half, inserting him with 5:17 to play in the third quarter.