Thunder to maul Mavericks again?

Thunder to maul Mavericks again?

The Mavericks got throttled, 108-70, in the opener of their first-round playoff series against the Thunder. Naturally, there would be even more misfortune after the fact.

That’s when Dallas learned it would be without sparkplug point guard J.J. Barea for Game 2. Undermanned and still reeling from the weekend’s events, Rick Carlisle’s crew must nonetheless come out swinging at 8 p.m. ET. The visitors to Chesapeake Energy Arena are garnering little respect in the betting community, though, as they’re listed as 14-point underdogs by online sports book Bovada.lv.

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Oklahoma City scored the first nine points on Saturday, amassing a 59-33 edge by halftime. All-Stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook combined for 47 points and 16 dimes before sitting out the fourth quarter. The Thunder frequently applied intense defensive pressure, too, limiting every Mavs player save for Dirk Nowitzki to single digits.

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In addition to Barea (groin strain), Carlisle probably won’t have Chandler Parsons (knee surgery) or David Lee (plantar fascia). Even if the ever-venerable Nowitzki comes up large again, who assists him? Billy Donovan’s unit is an extremely motivated one, and the Durant-Westbrook tandem specializes in withholding mercy. Another rout’s inevitable at this stage, or so it appears.

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