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Mavericks vs. Thunder: Rivals play in tuneup before season starts next week

The Dallas Mavericks and Oklahoma City Thunder play in Wichita, Kansas, Wednesday night in a preseason game.

Jerome Miron-US PRESSWIRE

Wichita, Kan., is the host to one of the Western Conference's top rivalries Wednesday night as the Dallas Mavericks take on the Oklahoma City Thunder in one of the final preseason tuneups before the regular season gets underway next week.

Dallas is playing without star Dirk Nowitzki, who is expected to miss at least a few weeks of action following knee surgery. While that's welcome news to the rest of the Western Conference, it's a potential setback for the Mavs' season. Dallas could also be without one of its most important new faces, starting center Chris Kaman, who missed the Mavs' last two preseason games with a strained calf.

It's the final preseason tuneup for the Thunder before starting the regular season on Nov. 1 at the San Antonio Spurs. Oklahoma City is 3-3 in the preseason after losing Tuesday night to the Chicago Bulls. Dallas has one more preseason game left with the Charlotte Bobcats before starting the regular season Oct. 30 at the Los Angeles Lakers.

Fox Sports Dallas will carry the game in the Mavericks' home market. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. CT.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.