Crowder (abdominal) expects to play vs. OKC

DALLAS -- Small forward Jae Crowder, who has been sidelined the last two games due to a strained abdominal muscle, participated in most of Friday’s practice and expects to play Sunday against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

“Just soreness at this point,” Crowder said. “No pain, so that’s a good sign.”

Crowder was pulled about two-thirds of the way into practice for precautionary reasons. He’s expected to be a full participant in Saturday’s practice before joining the team for the trip to Oklahoma City.

“He was doing well,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “We didn’t want to push him too hard.”

Crowder has drifted in and out of the Mavs’ rotation recently, losing playing time to Wayne Ellington. However, Crowder will likely be useful Sunday, as the Mavs will need to throw a bunch of bodies at NBA scoring leader Kevin Durant. The 6-foot-6 Crowder has the top defensive rating (100.1 points per 100 possessions) among the Mavs.

“We’ve got to have all our perimeter defenders available,” Crowder said, confident that he will be.