Oklahoma City Thunder | Game #36 Preview: Dallas Mavericks

Tip-Off: 6 PM CT

Location: Paycom Center (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma)

Television: Bally Sports Oklahoma

Radio: WWLS 98.1FM OKC The Sports Animal

Twitter: Follow @ZacharyLowNBA for live-tweets and discussion during the game

Happy New Year, Thunder fans! OKC rang in 2022 with a win on Friday night against the New York Knicks, and now fans get to enjoy 3 of the next 4 games at home before the Thunder head out for 6 of the following 7 on the road. The Thunder is a bit short-handed tonight, but alas, the show must go on as they play host to the Dallas Mavericks.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was added to the health & safety protocols list after Friday night’s win against the Knicks, but on the bright side, Josh Giddey will make his return this evening after missing the last few games for the same thing. The Mavericks are also missing a handful of guys, but Luka Dončić is expected to be back on the court after missing 10 straight games due to injury and health & safety protocols.

Tonight is the 5th consecutive road game for the Mavs, who have gone 2-2 so far through the stretch, and after struggling to a 17-18 record, they will be happy to have Dončić back to try to right the ship. Without Luka this season, Dallas has gone just 5-9 overall, but still, they have managed to stay afloat in the Western Conference standings.

The Mavericks handled the Thunder easily less than a month ago in the first meeting between these two teams, and they were missing Luka Dončić. Now that he’s back and SGA is out for OKC, picking up a win against Dallas will be an especially tall task, but anybody familiar with the Thunder knows that, despite the losing record, they’re capable of competing with anybody.

Projected Starters


  • PG: Josh Giddey
  • SG: Aaron Wiggins
  • SF: Luguentz Dort
  • PF: Paul Watson
  • C: Isaiah Roby


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



  • Darius Bazley is OUT (health and safety protocols).
  • Luguentz Dort is QUESTIONABLE (sore left knee).
  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is OUT (health and safety protocols).
  • Vit Krejci is OUT (G League — on assignment).
  • Tre Mann is OUT (health and safety protocols).
  • Jeremiah Robinson-Earl is OUT (health and safety protocols).


  • Trey Burke is OUT (health and safety protocols).
  • Willie Cauley-Stein is OUT (personal reasons).
  • Brandon Knight is OUT (health and safety protocols).
  • Boban Marjanovic is OUT (health and safety protocols).
  • JaQuori McLaughling is OUT (health and safety protocols).
  • Frank Ntilikina is QUESTIONABLE (left thigh contusion).
  • Kristaps Porzingis is DOUBTFUL (rest).


  • Since arriving in Oklahoma City in 2008, the Thunder is 24-22 against the Mavericks in the regular season (15-10 at home, 9-12 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 6 times, and tied 3 times.
  • The Thunder went 1-2 against the Mavericks last season (1-1 at home, 0-1 on the road).
  • The Thunder is 0-1 against the Mavericks so far this season (0-1 at home, 0-0 on the road).

Game Notes

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