Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

OKC Thunder (31-8) vs. Dallas Mavericks (17-23) Preview

The Oklahoma City Thunder will look for its sixth straight victory tonight taking on the Dallas Mavericks on the road at 9:30 p.m. EST.

This is the second time the Thunder and Mavericks will play this season. In the first meeting, the Thunder won in OKC 111-105 in an overtime thriller.

Darren Collison made a very improbable 3-pointer at the buzzer to send the game into OT. Collison led Dallas with 32 points in the game as he absolutely torched his former college teammate Russell Westbrook in the pick-and-roll.

Westbrook struggled mightily in regulation of that game scoring just eight points. Then he took over in overtime scoring eight more points to lead the Thunder to victory.

Kevin Durant far from struggled as he scored 40 points (all in regulation) on 13-of-28 shooting from the field.

Serge Ibaka had a big game as well for the Thunder with 19 points, 17 rebounds (eight offensive) and five blocks.

The Thunder trailed for almost the entire game and were down by eight entering the fourth quarter before Durant took over. Dallas stayed out in front thanks to some hot shooting from beyond the arc as they made 11-of-24 threes in the game.

The Mavericks had Dirk Nowitzki for that game but he came off the bench and only played 26 minutes. Dirk has been getting more minutes lately and should be a bigger factor tonight.

The Mavericks fell into a slump following the first game vs. the Thunder losing six of their next seven but have since reeled off four straight wins.

Dallas will need more from O.J. Mayo to seriously compete with the Thunder tonight. Mayo has been having a great season but has had some struggles of late, including shooting just 1-of-7 from the field vs. the Thunder.

OKC has been dealing with some injuries recently but is now back to full strength. The defense has been better than it was the first time they played Dallas so don’t expect the same kind of game from Collison.

The game will tip-off at 9:30 p.m. EST and broadcast nationally on ESPN.

Tags: Dallas Mavericks Oklahoma City Thunder

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