Oklahoma City Thunder (20-16, 14-5 home) vs. Dallas Mavericks (12-25, 4-14 away)
Sunday, Dec. 31 :: 6 p.m. CST :: Chesapeake Energy Arena (18,203)
Coverage: FS Oklahoma (DirectTV 675, Cox 37, HD 722, Tulsa Cox 27) | 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
View from the enemy: Here.
Line: The Oklahoma City Thunder are a 7½-point favorite. The over/under is 202.
Online Stream: Fox Sports Go | WWLS Sports Animal | Live Stats | Twitter | Facebook
Game Notes: Thunder: here | Mavericks: here
SETTING THE SCENE
- Fresh off the debauchery that is the outcome of the NBA officiating blunders, the Oklahoma City Thunder bring in the Dallas Mavericks for a New Year’s Eve showdown.
- Oklahoma City has played at home on New Year’s for every year they’ve been in Oklahoma City. The franchise has played every game at home since 2004.
- The Thunder are 8-1 all-time on New Year’s Eve, including four wins over the Phoenix Suns.
- Tonight is the 10-year anniversary of Oklahoma City beat the Warriors and showed they could make it in the NBA despite the 4-29 record.
- Oklahoma City and Dallas have split the regular season meetings this season, each winning on their home floors.
FOLLOWING THE ACTION
- You can catch the radio on Oklahoma City’s WWLS, 98.1 FM. Matt Pinto will be your play-by-play voice. If you’re in Tulsa, catch it on 1450 AM.
- Brian Davis and Michael Cage call the game on the Thunder’s flagship station, Fox Sports Oklahoma. You can watch the game there, catch it on NBA League Pass, or use the Fox Sports App (If you’re in Oklahoma).
SCOUTING THE MAVERICKS
- The Dallas Mavericks are 12-25 on the season, 13th in the Western Conference.
- In their last 10 games, Dallas is 5-5.
- Despite the poor record, the Mavericks have won three straight.
- In their last game, Dallas beat the New Orleans Pelicans 128-120 on Friday night.
- In their last meeting, Dallas beat the tar out of the Oklahoma City Thunder 97-81 on Nov. 25.
- Oklahoma City is 80-72 all-time against the Dallas Mavericks.
- Since the relocation from Seattle, Oklahoma City is 20-14 against Dallas.
- The Thunder are 7-3 in their last 10 games against the Mavericks.
- INJURY REPORT:
- Josh McRoberts (lower body) is questionable.
Dorian Finney-Smith (knee) is out.
Nerlens Noel (thumb) is out.
Seth Curry (lower leg) is out.
- The Thunder’s largest margin of victory over the Mavericks came on Feb. 4, 2013, where Oklahoma City prevailed by a score of 112-91 (21-point margin of victory).
- Meanwhile, the Thunder’s largest margin of defeat (23 points) vs. Dallas occurred during an 86-109 loss on 3/16/14.
Taming the Mavericks
- A Dallas radio station sponsored a name-the-team contest and recommended the finalists to team owner Donald Carter, who ultimately chose Mavericks over Wranglers and Express.
- The 41 fans who suggested Mavericks each won a pair of tickets to the season opener and one of those fans, Carla Springer, won a drawing for season tickets.
- Springer, a freelance writer, said the nickname “represents the independent, flamboyant style of the Dallas people.”
- That’s certainly an apt description for current team owner Mark Cuban.
- The Oklahoma City Thunder added a bunch of new faces this year.
- Paul George was acquired on June 30 for Domantas Sabonis and Victor Oladipo.
- Carmelo Anthony joins the Thunder after Oklahoma City sent Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott and a second round pick to the Knickerbockers for Anthony.
- Oklahoma City also signed Raymond Felton and Patrick Patterson via free agency.
- Terrance Ferguson was drafted in the first round out of Australia.
- Oklahoma City also added PJ Dozier, undrafted rookie out of South Carolina to a two-way deal.
- Paul George (left knee soreness) WILL play.
- Andre Roberson is OUT (left patellar tendonitis)
- The Thunder go on a West Coast swing playing the Clippers, Lakers and the Suns in 2018.
Three Keys to the Game
Lawler’s law is so big for the Thunder. They’re 17-6 when they hit the 100-point mark. Oklahoma City, though is only 7-11 when an opponent hits 100 points. I know Lawler’s Law isn’t about “hitting a 100” but it’s big. Dallas is 2-17 when they give up 100 points. So, that’s Oklahoma City’s should be goal.
The Mavericks are No. 1 in the NBA in taking care of the ball. They’ll have to find a way to force turnovers against the Mavericks tonight. If Dallas takes care of the ball, this game might end up being closer than expected. Oklahoma City forces turnovers, the Thunder might run away with this one.
The Oklahoma City Thunder have rebounded well lately but they’ll have to do it again tonight. Dallas is 6-3 when they out rebound the opponent. You flip that. Oklahoma City is 15-5 when they can grab more boards than their opponent.We invite you to follow Thunder Digest on Twitter and like Thunder Digest on Facebook. Don't forget to subsribe on Youtube! Our Podcast is on iTunes and on Stitcher. We also have a Thunder Digest Instagram account if you love fun Thunder photography!