Nov 6, 2013; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Dallas Mavericks power forward Dirk Nowitzki (41) handles the ball against Oklahoma City Thunder power forward Serge Ibaka (9) during the second quarter at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Mavericks At Thunder Preview: Mavs Finish Up Road Trip Before Playing Eight Straight At Home

Nov 6, 2013; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook (0) handles the ball against Dallas Mavericks shooting guard Monta Ellis (11) during the second quarter at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

DALLAS MAVERICKS (39-27) at OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER- March 16 at 7:00 p.m. ET at Chesapeake Energy Arena

Mavericks @ Thunder tickets

The Dallas Mavericks got back in the win column, defeating the Utah Jazz 108-101 on March 12 behind Dirk Nowitzki’s 31 points, his 7th 30-point game of the season.

Dallas will finish up its three-game Western Conference road trip when it visits the Oklahoma City Thunder on March 16. Game starts at 7:00 p.m. ET and can be seen on Fox Sports Southwest with Mark Followill and Derek Harper.

Nowitzki shot 12-of-14 from the field, hit all four from downtown and pulled down eight boards against Utah to pass hall-of-famer John Havlicek for 12th in all-time scoring.

Dallas got its 39th win of the year after winning 41 last season.

OKC, on a three-game home stand, won its second straight, a 131-102 rout of the Lakers on March 13. Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant scored a game-high 29 points on a combine 17-of-34 shooting. Westbrook added nine assists. The Thunder shot 50 percent as a team and held the Lakers to 39.4 percent. They also outrebounded the Lakers 60-37.

 

Milestone Watch: Dirk has a chance to crack the top-10 in scoring by season’s end. With 16 games left, Dirk will have to average nearly 18 points a game to pass hall-of-famers Dominique Wilkins (11th) and Oscar Robertson (10th).

10 Oscar Robertson- 26,710

11 Dominique Wilkins- 26,668

12 Dirk Nowitzki- 26,426

Make It Wayne: Wayne Ellington played one of his better games of the season vs Utah. He scored 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting in 13 minutes. He also went 3-of-3 from behind the arc. After not playing in three straight games, Ellington has played in 28 minutes in the last two. No doubt, if he gets significant minutes again, he’ll be an x-factor vs the Thunder.

Hello, Old Friend: On Feb. 13, 2010, the Mavericks and Wizards engaged in a seven-player trade that sent the likes of Josh Howard and Drew Gooden to Washington for Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood and Deshawn Stevenson. Butler played a vital role for the Mavericks, playing 62 games with Dallas, six in the playoffs. He averaged 15 points in his two years in Big D, and shot a career-high 43 percent from three during the 2010-11 season, but suffered a season-ending injury on Jan. 1, 2011. The Mavericks dedicated their title run for Butler. In six playoff trips, Butler averaged a career-high 19.7 points during the Mavs 2010 first-round loss to the Spurs. In five games since signing with OKC, Butler is averaging eight points in 27 minutes. Butler had 19 points and 13 boards in his lone game vs Dallas this season, with the Bucks.

Season Series: The Mavs and Thunder have only met once this season. OKC got double-doubles from Durant and Serge Ibaka and 22 points from Westbrook as it defeated Dallas 107-93 at home on Nov. 6 on ESPN. OKC shot 54.4 percent and held Dallas to 42 percent while outrebounding the Mavs 44-36 and had 28 assists to Dallas’ 17. Monta Ellis led the Mavericks with 20 points while Shawn Marion and Dirk added 17 and 16, respectively. Only seven players scored while Vince Carter, Gal Mekel, Ricky Ledo and Ellington all went scoreless on 0-of-11 shooting. The two will meet one final time in Dallas on March 25 on TNT.

 

I’ve Got Your Number: Since the 2011 Western Conference Finals, when Dallas defeated the Thunder 4-1, OKC has won 12 of the past 13 meetings, including the playoffs. The Thunder swept the Mavericks in the first round of the 2012 postseason. OKC was won eight of the past nine regular-season match ups, outscoring Dallas 103.8-98.1. Nowitzki is averaging 18.4 points in that span. Five of those meetings have been decided by six points or less, with two coming in overtime. The Mavericks lone win came back on Jan. 2, 2012 in Dallas, 100-87.

Western Conference Race: Recently, the race for 6th in the West has been a three-team battle between Dallas, the Golden State Warriors and the Phoenix Suns. The race for 5th is shaping up to be a four or five-team battle between the three, Memphis Grizzlies and the Portland Trail Blazers. Memphis has won four straight while the Blazers have lost four straight. The Suns are outside looking in, two games behind the final spot, having lost three straight. Here’s a look at the standings with each team’s upcoming schedule and number of games remaining…

5 Blazers: 42-23 (.646); @ NOP, vs GSW, vs MIL, vs WAS, @ CHA (17 games)

6 Warriors: 41-25 (.621)– 1.5; vs CLE, @ POR, vs ORL, vs MIL, vs SAS (16 games)

7 Grizzlies: 38-26 (.594)– 3.5; @ TOR, @ PHI, vs UTA, @ MIA, vs IND (18 games)

8 Mavericks: 39-27 (.591)– 3.5; @ OKC, vs BOS, vs MIN, vs DEN, vs BKN (16 games)

9 Suns: 36-28 (.563)– 5.5; @ BOS, @ TOR, @ BKN, vs ORL, vs DET (18 games)

 

No Place Like Home: Once the Mavericks finish up this road trip against the Thunder, the Mavericks will return home to the American Airlines Center for an eight-game home stand. With the Mavericks winning their last two home games against playoff-contending teams in the Blazers and Pacers, the skies the limit. Those eight games will be crucial in Dallas’ playoff chase. The Mavericks will play four of those eight against teams currently not in the playoff picture, starting with three in the Celtics, T’Wolves and Nuggets, who have a combine record of 82-110. Dallas will also play the Clippers, Warriors, Kings, Nets and Thunder. The Mavs will end the home stand on April 1 and have seven games left on their schedule.

Feels Like Yesterday: It’s already been three years since the Mavericks title run, but Dallas fans will never forget what a playoff run we had, especially Dirk. Nowitzki averaged 27.7 points in 21 playoff games. His highest of the postseason came against the Thunder in the WCF, averaging 32.2 points on 55.7 percent shooting. He dropped 48 in Game 1 and 40 in Game 4. Nowitzki also went 59-of-61 from the free-throw line (96.7 percent), including an NBA-record 24-of-24, 13-of-13 in the 3rd, in Game 1 (19-of-19 after halftime). Dirk scored 17 in the 2nd quarter, 12 in the 4th of Game 4, as the Mavs trailed by 15 with five minutes left before tying it up and winning in overtime.

Game 1

 

Game 4

 

Game 5

 

 

Tags: Dallas Mavericks Dirk Nowitzki Kevin Durant Monta Ellis Russell Westbrook Wayne Ellington

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