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Reply To: NBA • Wednesday Service Plays • 2/24/16

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Preview: Oklahoma City At Dallas

When: 8:30 PM ET, Wednesday, February 24, 2016
Where: American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas

The Oklahoma City Thunder look to finish off a four-game season sweep of Dallas when they visit the Mavericks on Wednesday. Oklahoma City prevailed twice by three points this season – once in Dallas – and rolled to a 19-point victory in the other meeting.

The Thunder are looking to bounce back from consecutive home losses to Indiana and Cleveland, and they were trampled 115-92 by the Cavaliers on Sunday. “Nah, we’re not concerned,” point guard Russell Westbrook attempted to insist afterward. “There’s a reason why it’s rare. It doesn’t really happen. Not a concern. We’ll be back and ready to go to Dallas.” The Mavericks have been sputtering and Sunday’s 129-103 victory over Philadelphia was just their second win in seven games and it came in the first contest of a stretch in which they play nine of 10 at home. “It doesn’t matter if we play these games in Alaska. We need them,” shooting guard Wesley Matthews told reporters. “It’s too tight right now. I don’t feel that we’re a team that deserves to be in the situation that we’re in, but we put ourselves there, so we’ve got to get ourselves out of it.”

TV: 8 p.m. ET, FSN Oklahoma, FSN Southwest (Dallas)

ABOUT THE THUNDER (40-16): Oklahoma City fancies itself as an NBA title contender but the home beat down it suffered against Cleveland – its second loss to the Cavaliers this season – sent the message that the Thunder perhaps aren’t as ferocious as they feel they are. Coach Billy Donovan put the “adversity is good for a team” label on the blowout loss while Westbrook and small forward Kevin Durant went in the “no-panic, it’s not a big deal” direction. “We lost a game against a good team,” Durant told reporters. “We’ve got to regroup and figure out what we need to do better and move on. It’s the regular season.”

ABOUT THE MAVERICKS (30-27): Two-time All-Star David Lee is expected to make his Dallas debut against the Thunder after the team picked him up after he was released by the Boston Celtics. The 32-year-old forward averaged 7.1 points and 4.3 rebounds in 30 games for Boston and is no longer a standout, but Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said he can help the team off the bench at both power forward and center and that is fine with Lee. “I told them I’m not really too worried about them promising me anything as much as I’m in here to show what I can do and try to help this team as much as possible,” Lee told reporters. “My playing time will reflect that. We’ll see what happens.”

BUZZER BEATERS

1. The Thunder broke a three-game losing streak in Dallas by recording a 109-106 victory on Jan. 22.

2. Durant has scored 20 or more points in 41 straight games

3. Dallas forward Dirk Nowitzki went over the 29,000-career point mark against the 76ers – he ranks sixth all-time with 29,008.

PREDICTION: Mavericks 108, Thunder 106