NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, March 5 (All times eastern)
Dallas Mavericks (22-16) at Oklahoma City Thunder (29-8), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Oklahoma City Thunder will take another shot at becoming the first Western Conference team with 30 wins when they commence a five-game homestand Monday versus the defending champion Dallas Mavericks.
Oklahoma City failed in its bid for 30 wins and a perfect three-game road trip with Saturday's 97-90 loss at Atlanta. Kevin Durant's game-high 35 points weren't enough to extend the Thunder's seven-game winning streak, while Russell Westbrook netted 25 points in defeat.
Serge Ibaka and James Harden both scored 10 points for Oklahoma City, which went 2-1 on the trek and committed 21 turnovers. Kendrick Perkins had two points and five rebounds in 16 minutes before fouling out with 4:09 remaining.
"Tough one for us," said All-Star Game MVP Durant, who is averaging 34.1 ppg in his last seven contests. "They're a good team, they played hard. They ended up with a better score than us."
The Thunder have won 12 in a row at Chesapeake Energy Arena and are a sizzling 15-1 as the host this season. Their last loss at home was versus Portland back on Jan. 3. Oklahoma City will also host the Suns, Cavs, Bobcats and Rockets on the residency.
OKC is one of the league leaders in points scored with 102.1 ppg.
Meanwhile, the Mavs were able to snap a season-high four-game losing streak with a 102-96 triumph versus the Utah Jazz thanks to a season-high 40-point performance from Dirk Nowitzki.
Nowitzki made 14-of-21 shots, including 8-of-9 from downtown, for Dallas, which avoided its first five-game slide since a six-game losing streak from Jan. 6-Jan. 17, 2011. Nowitzki has scored 20-plus points 19 times in 2011-12.
Lamar Odom was recalled from the Texas Legends of the NBA Development League prior to the game and had missed Dallas' last four contests due to a family matter. He was assigned to the Legends Friday, but did not see any action with the team. Odom had nine points, five rebounds, three assists and a season-high three blocks in 18 minutes in Dallas' seventh straight win over Utah.
"Tonight he addressed the team before we went out," said Mavs reserve Jason Terry, who netted 22 points. "That address was guys I need you as much as you need me. We all looked at him and gave him a big hug. He said sorry and said let's go. Then his play tonight spoke louder than those words."
The Mavericks have held their opponents to under 100 points in 16 of their last 17 games but have gone just 9-8 in that stretch. They will try to stop a three-game road losing streak tonight and are 8-9 as the guest.
Dallas center Brandan Wright (concussion) did not play Saturday and head coach Rick Carlisle said he is day-to-day. Terry has played in 995 regular-season games and needs five to reach 1,000 for his career.
The Mavericks and Thunder will close out their four-game season series tonight, and Oklahoma City is 2-1 over the first three encounters. Dallas has won 10 of the last 14 road meetings. Durant is averaging 26.7 ppg against the Mavs this season, while Nowitzki is posting 21.0 points in the three games.
03/05 10:39:51 ET