With Kevin Durant's 3-point buzzer-beater fresh in their minds, the Dallas Mavericks have to find fresh legs if they're going to give the Oklahoma City Thunder a good run in tonight's second meeting in four days.
Dallas was sent home unhappy on New Year's Day after a 99-82 loss at Minnesota. Last Thursday the Mavs thought they had secured a breakthrough win at OKC after its first two double-digit losses. With another busy week ahead, if the Mavs have a breakthrough game in them in this fourth game in five nights, there'd be no better time to break it out.
Records: Thunder (5-0); Mavs (1-4)
When: 7:30 p.m.
Where: American Airlines Center
TV: FSSW/NBA TV
Radio: 103.3 FM ESPN; 1270 AM (Spanish)
What to watch: After a third loss this season by double-digit points, can the Mavs muster up the energy to play disciplined and determined defense against the Thunder's young, talented core? This game is the second of a back-to-back and fourth game in five days for the elder Mavs. Jason Kidd played more than 34 minutes in Minnesota, so his performance, particularly on the defensive end is worth watching. On the flip side, will the Thunder come out with overwhelming force? This team should be rested and ready. It coasted to a home win over Phoenix on Saturday and didn't play Sunday. Kevin Durant played 26:17 in the game to lead not just the starters in minutes, but all 13 players that saw action. In the last meeting, a 104-102 OKC win, it was Dallas having had the off day and the Thunder playing a fourth game in five nights.
The Thunder sixth man was tremendous in Thursday's win over Dallas with 15 points, four rebounds and four assists. He was instrumental in the first and third quarters in halting the Mavs' progression and getting the Thunder back in the game. He has an ability to control a game's tempo when he's handling the ball. He's a smart and creative playmaker, able to use the dribble to get to the rim and he can also hit the perimeter jumper, and take it beyond the 3-point arc. The third-year, 6-foot-5 guard is averaging a career-high 30.6 minutes a game, so the ball is going to be in hands a lot.
Injuries: Thunder - none. Mavs - none.
Up next: Phoenix Suns at Mavs, 7:30 p.m., Wednesday