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The contrast in age will be talked about a lot and for good reason.

The top four scorers on the Thunder are 23 or younger. The Mavs only have two guys who are 23 or younger and neither has played this postseason.

Dallas relies on seven players in their 30s. Oklahoma City has only two guys in their 30s and both are backups.

Although no Mavericks have won a title, nearly all of them have deep reservoirs of big-game experience. The Thunder have few guys who’ve ever been this close to a title, but they have two guys with rings: center Kendrick Perkins (2008, Boston) and his backup, Nazr Mohammed (‘05, Spurs).

“We’ve got to put them in position they haven’t been in to be able to use that wisdom,” Kidd said. “If you don’t, they’re just as talented as any team left in the playoffs.”

_ Rest vs. rust?

Before they were put on hiatus, the Mavs had won a franchise-record six straight postseason games. It remains to be seen whether they can pick up where they left off.

In the shot-clock era, teams that have gone at least nine days between series are 9-9 in Game 1s, and 11-7 in the next round, according to research by STATS LLC.

Among the teams to win Game 1 and the series was the 2004 Pacers, coached by Rick Carlisle, who is now Dallas’ coach.

“I like what we’ve done and I know guys are ready to play,” he said.

_ Revenge

In February 2009, Chandler was driving to the airport, bound for Oklahoma City to join the Thunder, when his phone rang. He was told to head home. Oklahoma City said he failed a physical and rescinded the deal.

He hasn’t forgotten.

In three games against the Thunder this season, he had among his best scoring averages (12.7 points) and easily his most rebounds (15.3) against any team.

“You really don’t need any extra incentives,” he said, “but I’ve got some extra ones.”

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