Dallas Mavericks vs. Oklahoma City Thunder: Players to Watch
By Jay Knodell
The Dallas Mavericks face the Oklahoma City Thunder at home, looking to build on blowout win over Philly. Here are three players to keep an eye on.
The Dallas Mavericks (30-27) are at home Wednesday against the star-studded Oklahoma City Thunder (40-16). Dallas handled the Philadelphia 76ers with ease on Sunday, but face a much tougher opponent this time around.
Oklahoma City is coming off a bad loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers at home, and will be looking to get back on track as they try to hold off the surging Los Angeles Clippers (winners in 10 of their last 13) and hold on to that third seed in the western conference.
We’re at the point of the season when every game is treated as a must-win. Here are some key players to keep an eye on tonight.
The Mavericks signed big man David Lee on Monday, and he’ll make his debut for the team against the Thunder. His role hasn’t quite yet been defined, and the significance of it will likely hinge on performance, but head coach Rick Carlisle will give him a shot to earn consistent minutes starting tonight. Don’t expect too much out of the 32-year old against OKC, as he hasn’t had much of a chance to learn the system yet, but do expect him to spend some time at both front court spots.
Kevin Durant is something else. He’s scored fewer than 20 points once this season, and it came when he scored 14 in 17 minutes against Washington before leaving the game early with a hamstring strain. Think about that.
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After missing six games with that injury, Durant has 41 20-point+ games in a row. The second longest streak this season is LeBron James and Stephen Curry at 14. It’s only fair to assume Durant will have another big night, after all, he’s gone for 32-8-4 his last 10 games.
It may come against the Mavericks, but every fan in attendance should relish seeing one of the best scorers of all-time in person.
Wesley Matthews’ struggles from the field this season have been well documented. He’s had his moments, like his 8-12 performance against the 76ers on Sunday, but so far he’s been unable to string good shooting nights together. We’ll see if he can do that against the Thunder, but it could be tough. Matthews will likely be tasked with spending time defensively on two of the most unguardable forces in the entire league, Durant and Russell Westbrook.
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The game tips off at 7:30 pm ct.