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'Can't Be Satisfied': Brunson Keeping Momentum Rolling; Mavs GAMEDAY vs. Thunder

The Dallas Mavericks look to win their third-straight game as they take on the Oklahoma City Thunder at American Airlines Center on Monday night.

The Dallas Mavericks take on the Oklahoma City Thunder tonight looking for their third win in a row, as well as their eighth win in the last nine contests.

The Mavs are 2-0 against the Thunder this season, having held them under 90 points in both contests. Tonight will be the first time both Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis will be on the court at the same time against the Thunder this season. The last time these two teams met, Thunder rookie Josh Giddey became the youngest player in NBA history to record a triple-double.

Dallas has really flipped the script on its 2021-22 season over the last three weeks. After a 120-116 Christmas Day loss to the Utah Jazz, the Mavs fell to their lowest point of the season with a 15-17.

Since then, though, Dallas has gotten healthy discovered their defensive potential, having won nine of its last 11 games. Over the last 10 games, the Mavs are holding their opponents to a stingy 93.8 points per game. Dallas now has a 24-19 record and currently sits alone in the fifth-seed in the Western Conference championship.

The hot streak the Mavs are currently on can be credited to great overall team play, as we saw over the weekend in Dallas' blowout wins over the Memphis Grizzlies and Orlando Magic. 

In the 112-85 win over the Grizzlies on Friday night, which snapped Memphis' 11-game win streak, Luka Doncic led the Mavs with a 27-point triple-double, but he was also joined by six other teammates scoring in double figures. In the 108-92 win over the Magic on Saturday night, Doncic again led the Mavs in scoring with 23 points, but he got help from Kristaps Porzingis and Jalen Brunson, who scored 19 points apiece efficiently. Tim Hardaway Jr. also pitched in with 17 points off the bench.

If Dallas is playing like this right now, it's encouraging to think about what could be on the horizon for this team if Doncic takes it up another gear and Porzingis can raise his three-point shooting about 30 percent on the season. The next step in that progression happens tonight at American Airlines Center.

FUN FACT: The Mavs have the fifth-best defensive rating and eighth-best net rating in the league this season. Over the last 10 games specifically, Dallas owns the best defensive rating in the league by a large 6.2-point margin. 

FLASHBACK: The Mavericks defeated the Thunder 95-86 back on January 2, which was Doncic's first game back after missing 10-straight due to an ankle sprain and NBA COVID protocols. Marquese Chriss, who recently signed a two-year contract to remain with the team, led the Mavs in scoring on that night with 15 points. Chriss went 3-of-3 from deep and grabbed seven rebounds in just 14 minutes off the bench.

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INJURY REPORT: Reggie Bullock (right knee soreness) is OUT.

RECORDS: Oklahoma City Thunder (14-28) at Dallas Mavericks (24-19)

WHEN: Monday, January 17, 2022 at 7:30 p.m. CT

TV/RADIO: BSSW and 97.1 The Eagle

ODDS: The Mavericks are 11.5 point favorites over the Thunder.

NEXT: The Mavericks play the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night at AAC in what will be the third game of this five-game home stand.

Last Word: “We are just playing together," said Jalen Brunson after his team won its eighth game in nine tries.

"I think we are clicking. It has been a little bit of a weird year, but we are clicking at the right time. We just have to keep it going and can’t be satisfied with what we have been able to do these past couple of weeks. We just have to keep pushing the same way we have been.”