Mar, 5, 2012; Oklahoma City OK, USA; Dallas Mavericks power forward Dirk Nowitzki (41) drives to the basket against Oklahoma City Thunder power forward Nick Collison (4) during the second quarter at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Richard Rowe-US PRESSWIRE
Dallas will play Oklahoma City in a rematch of the 2011 Western Conference Finals.
A Dallas loss on the road in Atlanta Thursday night combined with a Denver Nuggets win in Minnesota dropped the defending champions into the 7th seed in the Western Conference.
The series will be a rematch of the 2011 Western Conference Finals, where the Mavericks outlasted the Thunder in a tightly-contested 4-1 series. Tyson Chandler's interior defense and offensive rebounding was crucial in the series, and it remains to be seen whether Ian Mahinmi and Brandan Wright can fill his shoes over a seven-game series.
This season, Oklahoma City won three of four meetings with Dallas, although one of those wins came on a Durant buzzer-beater.
The opening round game will be on Saturday in Oklahoma City.