Oklahoma City Thunder

OKC Thunder | Game #33 Preview: Mavericks

Zachary Low

zacharylow88

Tip-Off: 7 PM CT

Location: Chesapeake Energy Arena (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma)

Television: Fox Sports Oklahoma

Radio: WWLS 98.1FM OKC The Sports Animal

Twitter: Follow @TheThunderGuys for live-tweets during the game

The Oklahoma City Thunder (17-15) marched into Toronto on Sunday evening and defeated the reigning NBA Champion Raptors (22-11) behind Shai Gilgeous Alexander’s career-high tying 32 points. OKC is looking more and more like a playoff team, and while there is still time for changes to be made, if Thunder GM Sam Presti decides to roll with the current squad, the Thunder could very well be playing postseason basketball this year.

To wrap up 2019 tonight the Thunder hosts Luka Dončić and the Dallas Mavericks (21-11). The Mavs started off the season with a 16-6 record, but since then, they have struggled a bit to win just 5 of their last 10. Dončić was forced to miss 4 games recently due to a sprained ankle, but Kristaps Porzingis played well in his absence, and Dončić has now returned without missing a beat.

Luka is currently dealing with sprained wrist and a back contusion, however, and his status for tonight has not yet been determined. Whether or not Dončić plays, this is not a game the Thunder can afford to get behind in early. Dončić and Porzingis are one of the better duos in the NBA, so OKC needs to focus on those two defensively and force the Mavericks to rely on role players to stay in the game.

Projected Starters

Thunder

  • PG: Chris Paul
  • SG: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
  • SF: Terrance Ferguson
  • PF: Danilo Gallinari
  • C: Steven Adams

Mavericks

  • PG: Tim Hardaway Jr.
  • SG: Luka Dončić
  • SF: Dorian Finney-Smith
  • PF: Kristaps Porzingis
  • C: Dwight Powell

Injuries

Thunder

  • Luguentz Dort (G-League Assignment) is OUT.
  • Justin Patton (G-League Assignment) is OUT.
  • Andre Roberson (return to play management) is OUT.

Mavericks

  • Ryan Broekhoff (left knee contusion) is QUESTIONABLE.
  • Tim Hardaway Jr. (left hamstring strain) is OUT.
  • Isaiah Roby (right plantar fascia) is OUT.

Head-to-Head

  • Since arriving in Oklahoma City in 2008, the Thunder is 22-18 against the Mavericks in the regular season (13-7 at home, 9-11 on the road) and 9-5 in the playoffs (4-3 at home, 5-2 on the road).
  • Since arriving in Oklahoma City in 2008, the Thunder has won the season series against the Mavericks 4 times, lost 4 times, and tied twice.
  • The Thunder lost the season series last year with the Mavericks 1-3 (1-1 at home, 0-2 on the road).
  • The Thunder has won 5 of the last 7 matchups with the Mavericks at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
  • This is the third consecutive New Year’s Eve matchup between the Thunder and the Mavericks in Oklahoma City. The Thunder is 1-1 in those games.

Game Notes

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