DALLAS -- From all indications, it looks like the defending NBA champion Dallas Mavericks will open the playoffs at Oklahoma City on Saturday.
If the Mavs lose their game Thursday nioght at 7 at Atlanta, they will assure themselves of playing the Thunder in the first round of the playoffs.
But if the Mavs (36-29) beat the Hawks and the Denver Nuggets (37-28) lose Thursday night at Minnesota, the Mavs will travel to Los Angeles for a first-round playoff series -- possibly starting on Sunday -- against the Lakers.
The Mavs won the season series over the Nuggets, 3-1. So if the two teams wind up with identical records, Dallas will get the sixth seed and a first-round date with the Lakers, and the Nuggets would get the No. 7 seed and a first-round meeting with the Thunder.
-- Dwain Price
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