By Randy Renner, Senior Writer
For a while it looked the Thunder would meet the Memphis Grizzlies, then the Portland Trail Blazers started coming into focus as a first round opponent but by the time the regular season ended the Dallas Mavericks had settled into sixth place in the Western Conference and punched their ticket to OKC.
Early this morning the NBA released dates for all seven possible games and tipoff times for the four that will definitely be played.
Game 1 will be late Saturday night at The Peake, tipoff is scheduled for 8:30 but could slide to as late as 8:45 if earlier games go late. All first round games will be shown on Fox Sports Oklahoma locally, Saturday’s game will also be on ESPN.
Game 2 will be Monday on TNT and tipoff will be earlier coming at 7 o’clock (thank goodness it’s a school night for crying out loud).
The series shifts to Dallas for Game 3 on Thursday and will tip at 6 pm on TNT.
Game 4 will be a week from Saturday (April 23rd) at 7pm on ESPN.
No tip times or national TV networks have been chosen for the “if necessary” games but the NBA did release the dates.
Game 5 would be back in OKC on Monday, April 25th.
Game 6 in Dallas on Thursday, April 28th.
Game 7 in Oklahoma City on Saturday, April 30th.
The Thunder beat the Mavs all four times the teams played in the regular season, the average score was 112.5 to 103. But three of the four games were close with two of them coming down to the last couple of possessions. The one blowout game was when the Mavs rested all five starters on the second night of a back to back.
OKC averaged shooting 49.1 percent against Dallas in the four games and held the Mavs to 44.7 percent. The Thunder hit 37.3 percent of their 3-point attempts while holding Dallas to 31.5 percent shooting on long balls.
The Thunder will be back to practice today and we’ll have updates from the INTEGRIS Thunder Development Center including comments from head coach Billy Donovan and players.
Tickets for the first two games go on sale today at 10am on the Thunder website.