The Mavericks, trying to hold on to the eighth spot in the Western Conference, look to continue their dominance of the Thunder on Friday night.
Dallas (34-23), which has a slim lead over ninth-place Phoenix, might end up regretting a terrible performance in a 133-99 loss to Milwaukee on Jan. 21 if it misses the postseason.
The Mavericks evened their season series with the Bucks on Wednesday night, winning 116-96. They also rebounded after posting their lowest point total of the season in a 93-76 loss to short-handed San Antonio the previous evening.
“We let an opportunity slip away, but we bounced back,” Dallas point guard Jason Kidd said. “This is what we’ve done all year.”
The Mavericks won the opener of a stretch of three straight at the American Airlines Center, where they’re 20-4 since losing their first four. They’ve been particularly good against the Oklahoma franchise, winning seven straight at home since a 107-102 loss to the Seattle SuperSonics on Dec. 9, 2004.
Dallas has won 14 of 15 overall versus the Thunder (13-44), who have dropped seven in a row on the road and are 3-24 away from the Ford Center this season. They’ve lost six in a row overall.
Oklahoma City has allowed 100 points or more in seven straight games and now must contend with a Dallas team that is averaging 100.9 a contest.
The Mavericks shot 53.4 percent and had six players score in double figures versus the Bucks. Josh Howard scored 27 points, two shy of his season high, and added seven rebounds and five steals.
Kidd had 19 points and nine assists. He was held to three points or fewer in three of his previous five games.
Kidd had eight points, seven assists and four rebounds in Dallas’ 103-99 home win over Oklahoma City on Dec. 13, the teams’ first meeting of the season.
Thunder star Kevin Durant had 22 points, eight rebounds and five steals in that contest, and has been outstanding in recent weeks.
Durant has averaged 32.8 points in his last 14 games, making 46.0 percent (23-for-50) from 3-point range during that stretch. The second-year swingman had 32 points, 10 rebounds and six assists against the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night, but Oklahoma City lost 107-93.
The Thunder can take some solace in a somewhat better defensive performance after giving up 273 points in their previous two games.
Thabo Sefolosha, acquired from Chicago in a deadline day trade, started against the Lakers in his second game with Oklahoma City. Acquired in part to help the Thunder’s perimeter defense, Sefolosha was among the players trying to slow down Kobe Bryant, who had 36 points.
Sefolosha will likely match up with Howard in Friday’s contest.