While the Dallas Mavericks got a reprieve travel-wise, by opening the playoffs against an Oklahoma City Thunder squad that's only a 30-minute flight from the Metroplex, they know the short trip doesn't guarantee anything.

Especially when the Thunder field an offensive package that includes NBA scoring champ Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden.

"We know they're very perimeter-oriented with Westbrook and Harden and Durant,'' said forward Dirk Nowitzki, who scored 22 points in Thursday's 106-89 loss to the Atlanta Hawks. "They're three of the best perimeter scorers we have in this game, so it's going to be tough.

"Our littles have got to do a good job, our bigs are going to have to rotate and scramble and help each other and rebound, and we'll see how good we can be.''

Game 1 of the Mavs-Thunder series is at 8:30 Saturday night at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, with Game 2 also back there on Monday at 8:30 p.m.

The series will then shift to Dallas for Game 3 on May 3 at 8:30 p.m., and Game 4 on May 5 at 6:30 p.m.

The Mavs finished this up-and-down season with a 36-30 record and are seeded No. 7 in the Western Conference playoffs. Meanwhile, the Thunder captured the Northwest Division title, owns an impressive 47-19 record and is seeded second in the West.