Mavs look to use three-day layoff to their advantage

Practice Report: Shawn Marion

Mavs F Shawn Marion dishes on the extra days of rest, Sunday's tilt against the rival Thunder and says he's looking forward to being back in Dallas for the upcoming homestand.

DALLAS — Hoping to take advantage of a rare three-day break in the schedule, the Dallas Mavericks returned home from a 1-1 road trip also looking to get healthy at the right time.

Before completing a three-game stretch of road games Sunday in Oklahoma City, the Mavericks (39-27) returned to practice at American Airlines Center. The Mavs also worked to fine-tune things in preparation for Sunday’s matchup against the Northwest Division-leading Thunder.

“Whatever the schedule is, we have to maximize it. That’s the world we live in here, and this for us I’m going to say comes at a good time because it’s coming,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said after his team’s Friday practice. “You know, we’ve got a couple of guys that are nursing some minor aches and pains, and we want to get those things resolved. And they’re good work days, so it’s work and prep, ’cause we’ve got a bunch of games coming up starting on Sunday. ”

Practice Report: Rick Carlisle

Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle talks about using the extended time off to tweak some things, the health of Jae Crowder and Devin Harris and says the team needs to keep things simple going into Sunday's

Vowing to be available to help the Mavs avenge a 107-93 road defeat back on Nov. 6 against the Thunder (48-17) is second-year standout Jae Crowder, who went through Friday’s practice after missing the last two games due to an abdominal strain suffered during Sunday’s home win over Indiana. And with the Dallas defense likely to need Crowder against the likes of scoring leader Kevin Durant and point guard Russell Westbrook, the former Marquette standout put aside his injury in hopes of making a return to the court come Sunday.

“I went through the majority of the practice today and got pulled at the end,” Crowder said. “I plan on going the whole practice tomorrow and playing Sunday. It’s just soreness at this point and no pain, so that’s a good sign. … We’ve got to have our best perimeter defenders available I feel like — all of us. I knew we had a couple of days in between games, so I felt like I was going to give myself a chance to get ready to play.”

Note: The Mavericks will now conclude a stretch of three straight road games Sunday in Oklahoma City, taking on the Thunder for a second time this season. Oklahoma City leads the season series 1-0 after handing the Mavs a 107-93 road defeat back on Nov. 6. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 6 p.m. CT.

The Mavs return to action at American Airlines Center next Monday, hosting the Boston Celtics. Dallas leads the season series 1-0 after a 102-91 road win back on Feb. 9. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 7:30 p.m. CT. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting

Practice Report: Jae Crowder

Mavs F Jae Crowder weighs in on his injury status, the things he's been working on in practice to gear up for the Thunder and more.