DALLAS _ What the Oklahoma City Thunder have done to the Dallas Mavericks in these playoffs is nothing new. They've done this all season to the Mavs.
Well, actually the Thunder have done it to the Mavs even before the regular season started.
The Thunder beat the Mavs in the first two games of this best-of-seven opening-round playoff series, 99-98 and 102-99. Before that, the Thunder defeated the Mavs three out of four times in the regular season.
And before that, the Thunder went 2-0 against the Mavs in the preseason.
"If you watched early, we weren't beating anybody,'' coach Rick Carlisle said. "We couldn't beat a drum at that point.''
Drum beating aside, the seven losses in eight ganes to the Thunder this year is a trend the Mavs hope will change before the two squads face each other Thursday at 8:30 p.m. at American Airlines Center.
"They're a good team,'' Carlisle said. "The exhibition games, I don't know how meaningful that is.
"But look, it's a tough team. The games have been close and now we've got to turn the tide here.''
-- Dwain Price
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