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Thunder vs Mavericks preview: one more for 2018

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The Thunder can finish the year with a win, but will they?

NBA: Oklahoma City Thunder at Dallas Mavericks Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Game: Dallas Mavericks vs Oklahoma City Thunder

Time: 7PM CST

Location: Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City OK

Local TV: FSOK, FSSW-DAL

Radio: WWLS 98.1FM OKC / 930AM (ESP)

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After a very disappointing loss against the Dallas Mavericks, the Oklahoma City Thunder are set to host the Dallas Mavericks tonight at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City. The following game is going to be the second of their back to back games after a collapse that led to a Thunder loss against the Mavericks in yesterday’s game.

Unlike the early season match up that occurred between both teams in November, Russell Westbrook was present this time in yesterday’s game to compensate for the early season match up loss but did not live up to the expectations offensively. As a result, the Thunder failed to avenge their early season loss in Dallas despite coming out strong in the fourth quarter.

Meanwhile, Mavericks who lost 6 of their last 8 games will be seeking to secure another win to increase their chances of securing a playoffs spot as they are currently ranked 12thin the West. The Mavericks are 2-15 when playing on the road and have lost 8 consecutive road games. However, their ability to steal the win from the Thunder in yesterday’s game will definitely boost their confidence, which will be reflected on their performance in today’s game. Additionally, they also have rookie sensation Luka Doncic and point guard Dennis Smith Jr. who secured the win for the Mavs.

In yesterday’s game preview, I mentioned that in order for the Thunder to come out victorious, all they had to do was to execute the 4thquarter properly. I also mentioned that the key to execute the 4th quarter properly and close out the game is a combination of Westbrook’s offensive explosion and George’s offensive abilities. George and the bench sparked the game fourth quarter, but when it was time for Westbrook to light the fire, he was absent with a terrible shooting performance including a rushed miss at the buzzer.

The Thunder who are 12-4 at home will probably be on fire in today’s game especially that they have lost 3 of their last four games. They are going to be emotional and will not allow the game to slip that easily from them again in loud city. I believe that the Thunder will win the game if Westbrook explodes offensively as that is the only thing that they are in need of. Moreover, The Thunder (3-2) are in advantage in terms of their record on second back to back games while the Mavericks are 0-5 on second back to back games. Generally, the Mavericks performance will depend on whether they are going to play with the 15-3 home team persona or 2-15 away team persona. Either way, I am confident that if Westbrook supports George offensively, they are going to pull a victory out of the game.