NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, January 15th (All times eastern)
Oklahoma Thunder (21-17) at Dallas Mavericks (25-13), 8:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Southwest Division-leading Dallas Mavericks hope to salvage the finale of a three-game homestand Friday when they host the improved Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Mavericks fell to 0-2 on the residency Wednesday with a 100-95 loss to the defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers.
Andrew Bynum posted 22 points and 11 rebounds in that one as the Lakers became the first NBA team to record 3,000 wins with a 100-95 win.
Dallas' Dirk Nowitzki had 30 points -- 15 in the fourth quarter -- and surpassed 20,000 points for his career. He is the 19th fastest player to reach the total and now has 20,014 after Wednesday's contest. He also added a season-best 16 rebounds.
"(Nowitzki would) rather have the win than 20,000 points," said Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle. "That's where the disappointment is. You get a guy who is pure basketball heart. He'd do anything to win any ball game and he wouldn't care how many points he scored. That's what really makes him special along with the other things you guys have seen on a daily basis for over a decade."
Josh Howard had 18 points for the Mavericks, who have lost eight of their last nine games against the Lakers. Jason Kidd had 11 points and 11 assists in defeat.
The Thunder, meanwhile, are coming off a tough overtime loss to San Antonio on Wednesday. Richard Jefferson came up with a big block and hit the game-winning basket with 9.1 seconds left in the extra frame as the Spurs, who trail Dallas by just one-half game in the Southwest, pulled out an exciting 109-108 victory over Oklahoma City.
Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook netted 35 and 25 points, respectively, for the Thunder, who had won eight of 10 coming into the game. Westbrook also handed out 13 assists but missed a potential game-winner at the buzzer, while Jeff Green ended with 16 points and 10 rebounds in a losing effort.
Down 108-106, the Spurs' Antonio McDyess had a chance to tie the game but made just 1-of-2 free throws with 56.2 seconds showing in overtime. A double team on Durant resulted in Thabo Sefolosha tossing up a shot that Jefferson got a piece of to give the Spurs the ball back.
Manu Ginobili then drove to the hoop but lost the ball before making a diving save. With the shot clock nearly at zero, Jefferson made his way into the lane and hit the go-ahead bucket with 9.1 seconds remaining.
Westbrook couldn't free himself up on his try from the right wing, hitting all iron as the Thunder fell just short.
"We had a great look. I thought Russell's shot was good. I'm proud of him for taking that shot. It looked good but it didn't fall," Durant said.
Dallas has dominated this series recently taking 16 of its past 18 meetings with the Oklahoma City franchise.
01/15 10:36:58 ET