2012 NBA Playoffs: Thunder Will Open Against Mavericks, Series Begins Saturday

Mar, 5, 2012; Oklahoma City OK, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder small forward Kevin Durant (35) looks to pass the ball against Dallas Mavericks shooting guard Vince Carter (25) during the third quarter at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Richard Rowe-US PRESSWIRE

The Thunder will open the 2012 NBA Playoffs against the Dallas Mavericks, who ended Oklahoma City's season a year ago.

The Thunder surely remember how last season ended. Now they'll have a change for revenge as Oklahoma City hosts the Dallas Mavericks in the first round of the NBA Playoffs, with the series beginning on Saturday.

Last year, the Mavs beat the Thunder in five games in last year's Western Conference Finals en route to winning the NBA championship.

This isn't the same Mavs team from last year that Oklahoma City will face. Tyson Chandler was a force for the Mavericks on the inside last season, but he is gone. Dallas has struggled for much of the season and just earning the chance to defend their title was hard.

Kevin Durant won his third straight scoring title this season, and partner Russell Westbrook will be ready go despite struggles late in the year. Guard James Harden, who was elbowed in the head by Metta World Peace last weekend, has been cleared to play, but how much of a factor he can be is yet to be seen.

The Thunder were 26-7 at home on the season, while the Mavs were 13-20 on the road. Oklahoma City won three of four meetings during the regular season, with one of those wins coming on a buzzer-beater from Durant.

The full series schedule is as follows:

Game 1 (Saturday, April 28, in OKC) - 8:30 p.m. CT (ESPN)

Game 2 (Monday, April 30, in OKC) - 8:30 p.m. CT (TNT)

Game 3 (Thursday, May 3, in Dallas) - 8:30 p.m. CT (TNT)

Game 4 (Saturday, May 5, in Dallas) - 6:30 p.m., CT (TNT)

Game 5 (Monday, May 7, in OKC) - TBD (TBD)

Game 6 (Thursday, May 10, in Dallas) - TBD (TBD)

Game 7 (Saturday, May 12, in OKC) - TBD (TBD)

For more on the Oklahoma City Thunder, be sure to head over to Welcome to Loud City and join the discussion.

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