Tip-Off: 7:30 PM CT
Location: American Airlines Center (Dallas, Texas)
Television: Bally Sports Oklahoma
Radio: WWLS 98.1FM OKC The Sports Animal
Twitter: Follow @ZacharyLowNBA for live-tweets and discussion during the game
The Oklahoma City Thunder might be one of the best bad teams the NBA has seen in quite some time. Despite a losing record, they have a tendency to compete and make nearly every game an interesting one, and that was again the case on Saturday night as they narrowly fell to the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers. Now the Thunder turn their attention to one of the hottest teams in the league: the Dallas Mavericks.
Just a couple of weeks ago, the Mavs entered their second matchup of the season with the Thunder with a 17-18 record. They evened that up to get to .500 on the season by that night’s end, and since, Dallas has improved to 24-19 overall, putting them at 5th place in the Western Conference standings. Luka Doncic has been healthy, and as a result, the Mavericks are winning.
In the Thunder’s Saturday night game against the Cavs, it was pretty obvious that winning is not the focus for OKC. Despite holding a 17-point lead in the second half, the Thunder backups could not hold on to it for long, and still Mark Daigneault didn’t put Shai Gilgeous-Alexander or Luguentz Dort back into the game until the mid to late 4th quarter. In the end, Cleveland left OKC with a 5-point win, and the Thunder now sits at 14-28 on the season.
Winning was never the goal for the Thunder this season, unfortunately, and thankfully we are finally past the halfway mark. As for tonight’s matchup in Dallas, perhaps OKC can play the Mavs a little closer than the 19 and 9-point losses from earlier in the season.
- PG: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
- SG: Josh Giddey
- SF: Luguentz Dort
- PF: Jeremiah Robinson-Earl
- C: Isaiah Roby
- PG: Luka Dončić
- SG: Jalen Brunson
- SF: Dorian Finney-Smith
- PF: Maxi Kleiber
- C: Kristaps Porzingis
- Vit Krejci is OUT (G League — on assignment).
- Theo Maledon is OUT (G League — on assignment).
- Aleksej Pokusevski is OUT (G League — on assignment).
- Isaiah Roby is OUT (G League — on assignment).
- Kenrich Williams is OUT (health and safety protocols).
- Since arriving in Oklahoma City in 2008, the Thunder is 24-23 against the Mavericks in the regular season (15-11 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 0-2 against the Mavericks so far this season (0-2 at home, 0-0 on the road).