NBA

Mavericks-Thunder Preview

After succumbing to a long night against LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, now the Dallas Mavericks must face Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.

The visiting Mavericks figure to be the more tired team after an overtime loss although the Oklahoma City Thunder are also playing the second half of a back-to-back set Wednesday night.

Dallas (22-17) fell 110-107 at home to Cleveland on Tuesday. James had three points and an assist on Irving's 3-pointer in a 6-2 run over the final minute of the extra session, and they combined for 49 points.

"We can't hang our heads," forward Chandler Parsons told the Mavericks' official website. "We've got the same type of monster tomorrow night in OKC, dealing with similar personnel with Westbrook and Durant. It's not going to get easier going forward, so we've got to lock in get back at it tomorrow."

Three Mavericks logged at least 40 minutes, including the starting backcourt of Deron Williams and Wesley Matthews. Dallas built an early 16-point lead.

''We knew we weren't going to blow them out. We knew that the lead at some point was going to get chipped away,'' Matthews said. ''But this was our game. We should have won it and we didn't.''

Fatigue will be a factor versus the Thunder, who won 101-96 at Minnesota on Tuesday. Durant scored Oklahoma City's final 12 points over the last 2:54 in a 30-point effort.

''It felt like I need to get it going in the first three quarters,'' he said. ''I can't just come out and try to save the game and make shots in the fourth. I've got to get it going earlier. I've got to make shots, man. That's what it's about.''

Westbrook added 22 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds as Oklahoma City (27-12) won for the seventh time in nine games.

The Mavericks will face Durant for the first time since he was out when the Thunder won 117-114 on Nov. 22. Westbrook had 31 points and 11 assists, scoring Oklahoma City's final six points as it held on down the stretch.

Williams and Matthews combined for 38 points that night.

Dallas is 6-3 in the second half of back-to-backs and Oklahoma City is 2-4. It's not clear who will even play for the Mavericks after Tuesday's grueling loss.

Last Tuesday, Dallas won in two overtimes at home over Sacramento. The next night, coach Rick Carlisle rested Williams, Matthews, Dirk Nowitzki and Zaza Pachulia in a 100-91 win at New Orleans. Parsons was the only regular starter who remained in the lineup.

Parsons led Dallas with a season-high 25 points on 10-of-14 shooting Tuesday. Nowitzki had 17 points and 11 boards.

Nowitzki entered Tuesday averaging 8.0 points on catch-and-shoot attempts to rank third in the NBA. Oklahoma City's Serge Ibaka was seventh at 7.1 per game.

The Thunder have won nine of their last 11 at home over the Mavs, including two playoff wins. Tuesday's victory completed their longest trip of the season to this point at 2-1.

"It was a good trip for us, we won more than we lost," Durant said. "We're looking forward to coming home and playing in front of our great fans."

Dallas is opening a three-game trip that includes matchups with Chicago and San Antonio.

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