Nine months after the 2011 Western Conference Finals, the Dallas Mavericks and the Oklahoma City Thunder have switched positions, with the Mavericks part of a large group of teams chasing the West-leading Thunder.
The Thunder have had the edge in this escalating I-35 rivalry this season, splitting the two games in the American Airlines Center and winning on this Kevin Durant buzzer-beater in Oklahoma City in the first week of the season:
Now, with Lamar Odom back in the line-up, the Mavericks return looking for revenge as well as a much-needed victory to propel themselves up the crowded Western Conference standings.
Dirk Nowitzki, coming off a season-high 40 points against Utah on Saturday, will need to be on his game again to match up with the high-scoring Thunder.
Without Delonte West, the Mavericks will have a tough time up with Oklahoma City All-Star while no one in the NBA can really match up with Durant. The game may come down to bench scoring, as James Harden is the heavy favorite to win the 6th Man of the Year that Jason Terry won in 2010.
The 7:00 PM game will be broadcast nationally on NBA TV.