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Mavericks at Thunder preview: OKC closes preseason with rival Dallas

The Thunder will try to end the preseason on a winning note against the depleted Dallas Mavericks

Mike DiNovo-US PRESSWIRE

The Oklahoma City Thunder will try to build momentum with the start of the regular season just around the corner and face one of their biggest rivals Wednesday night -- the Dallas Mavericks. The game will be in Wichita, Kan.

Dallas is playing without star Dirk Nowitzki, who is expected to miss at least a few weeks of action following knee surgery. That's welcome news to the rest of the Western Conference, especially the Thunder, who now have Dwight Howard and the Los Angeles Lakers to challenge for the conference's top spot.

The Mavs could also be without one of their most important new faces, starting center Chris Kaman, who missed the Mavs' last two preseason games with a strained calf.

It's the final preseason tuneup for the Thunder before starting the regular season on Nov. 1 at the San Antonio Spurs. Oklahoma City is 3-3 in the preseason after losing Tuesday night to the Chicago Bulls.

TNT will carry the game. Tipoff is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. CT.