OKLAHOMA CITY -- Caron Butler just posted his best half with the Dallas Mavericks, scoring 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting to nearly match Kevin Durant (17 points), and to keep the Mavs within one point of the Oklahoma City Thunder, 56-55.
Two streaks appear likely to fall tonight at the current pace. The Mavs haven't scored 100 points in six consecutive games, and they haven't given up 100 in seven games.
Butler, picking up from his strong fourth quarter Tuesday night, scored six early to get the Mavs off to a hot start and go up by six, but it's been a see-saw battle throughout. The Thunder used an 11-3 surge in the second quarter to lead 43-34, but the Mavs countered with a 17-7 run and then Butler closed out the half with a 19-foot jumper to make it a one-point game.
Dirk Nowitzki has 12 points with six coming from the free throw line. Jeff Green has 14 for the Thunder.
The Mavs might be without backup center Brendan Haywood for the second half. He exited with a right thigh contusion with 7:28 left in the second half. The Mavs also played all but 2:17 of the first half without Shawn Marion who picked up three quick fouls.
But, the story here is the Mavs have again raised their level of play on the road coming off Tuesday's sluggish performance against the Detroit Pistons in the 88-84 home win.