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News » Thunder-Mavericks Preview

Thunder-Mavericks Preview

Thunder-Mavericks Preview
The Dallas Mavericks have seemed to solve their problems at home.

On Saturday night, they'll look to improve to 5-1 on their season-high seven-game homestand as they take on an Oklahoma City team that has just one road win this season and one in Dallas in nearly seven years.

After losing their first four games at home, the Mavericks are 6-1 in their last seven at the American Airlines Center.

Dallas (12-9) enters having won 10 of 12 overall, including a 95-90 victory over Charlotte on Thursday. Dirk Nowitzki - among the league leaders in scoring with 25.4 points per game - hit a 3-pointer with 28.3 seconds left as the Mavs held off the Bobcats.

Dallas trailed 54-53 at halftime before limiting the league's lowest-scoring team to 36 points in the final 24 minutes.

"We were just a step slow," said Nowitzki, who had 23 points, 13 rebounds and a season high-tying five assists. "We had no energy. The building was quiet. The second half was much better. That's the kind of defense we have to play from the start to keep teams from getting confidence. We were a little lucky to get the win down the stretch."

Dallas, though, may not have to play its best defense to slow down Oklahoma City (2-21). The Thunder are averaging just 92.9 points and shooting 42.9 percent from the field.

Nowitzki, who posted his third straight double-double Thursday, is averaging 30.0 points, 10.6 rebounds and 2.8 assists during the homestand.

Jason Terry scored 11 of his team-high 26 in the fourth quarter Thursday, and he's averaging 23.1 points and hitting 50.0 percent of his shots over the last 12 games.

Oklahoma City set a franchise record with its 10th straight home loss Wednesday, 108-102 to Memphis. The Thunder had a chance to pick up their first win at the Ford Center since defeating Minnesota 88-85 on Nov. 2, but were outscored 32-19 in the fourth quarter in losing for the 19th time in 20 games.

The Thunder defeated Memphis 111-103 on Nov. 29 for their only road win of 2008-09.

"It's the most miserable season I've ever been a part of: 2-21. It's tough," Nick Collison said after Oklahoma City's fifth consecutive loss. "Hopefully we start winning and things will go a lot better."

Kevin Durant continued his strong play with 28 points, five rebounds and two blocks Wednesday. He's averaging 25.4 points and 6.6 boards during the five-game skid.

Last season against Dallas, Durant averaged just 14.0 points and 4.0 rebounds as his team lost three of four matchups.

Chris Wilcox, who averaged 11.0 points and 5.3 rebounds in his last 10 games, is out for up to two weeks after dislocating his left ring finger in the first quarter of Wednesday's game.

The Thunder franchise has lost 11 of its last 12 in Dallas, posting a 107-102 win there on Dec. 9, 2004.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: December 12, 2008


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