Oklahoma City At Dallas
When: 8:30 PM
ET, Monday, March 27, 2017
Where: American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas
The Oklahoma City Thunder continue to have issues on the road and will have little time to rebound from their latest such setback when they visit the Dallas Mavericks on Monday. A 135-127 loss at Houston on Sunday gave the Thunder a 14-21 record on the road, the third worst mark in the NBA among the 16 teams that entered the day holding down a playoff spot.
Russell Westbrook did his thing with his 36th triple-double (39 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds) in the setback, which left Oklahoma City 1 1/2 games behind the fifth-place Los Angeles Clippers and 2 1/2 back of the Utah Jazz in the Western Conference. "The first half, they scored 79 points. That was the issue," Thunder center Enes Kanter told reporters. "We cannot play like that on the road. We have to do a better job defensively." The Mavericks won by 15 when the teams met earlier in the month in Dallas but they've taken just three of their last eight after Saturday's 94-86 loss to Toronto - which leaves them 3 1/2 games behind Denver for the eighth and final playoff spot - and they begin a challenging five-game road trip Wednesday in New Orleans. "You know, shot making comes and goes," coach Rick Carlisle told reporters after his team shot 37.8 percent against the Raptors. "And when we're not making shots, we've got to do other things as a team."
TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, FSN Oklahoma, FSN Southwest (Dallas)
ABOUT THE THUNDER (41-31): Westbrook has been getting some solid support from fellow guard Victor Oladipo in the past few weeks and Kanter has been exceptionally productive in recent days. Kanter has 47 points in 43 minutes over his last two games and five of his 17 double-doubles have come in March, despite averaging only 21.2 minutes. Westbrook has been feast or famine against the Mavericks this season, first going off for 45 points in an 11-point home win in February and then shooting 8-for-24 with just six rebounds and five assists in the 104-89 loss at Dallas earlier this month.
ABOUT THE MAVERICKS (31-41): Dallas went with Seth Curry as the starting point guard for the second straight game but it didn't go as well as the first (23 points in a win over the Los Angeles Clippers). He finished with 11 points, two assists and a minus-11 rating in 30 minutes, while backup Yogi Ferrell - who started 14 consecutive contests before the change - had 10 points and four assists with a plus-14 rating in just 18 minutes. Harrison Barnes, who moved from power forward to small forward as part of the shift two games ago, is averaging 22 points in that span.
1. Oklahoma City has dropped eight of its last 10 away from home.
2. Oladipo is averaging 19.7 points while making 9-of-14 from 3-point range over his last three road games.
3. Mavericks F Dirk Nowitzki needs 13 made baskets to surpass Alex English (10,659) and move into ninth place on the NBA's all-time list.
PREDICTION: Thunder 104, Mavericks 100
Stats and Records
Dallas Off vs
Oklahoma City Def
97.8 Points For
106.3 Points Against