Mavericks (16-7) at Pistons (10-14)
Time: 8 p.m. CT
Place: Arena Ciudad de Mexico, Mexico City
Radio: ESPN, 103.3 FM, Univision, 1270 AM (Spanish)
About the Mavs: Frequent visitors to Mexico City for preseason games, this will be their third regular-season game south of the border. They lost to Dallas 108-106 in 1997 in the first NBA regular-season game in Mexico. They defeated Phoenix 113-108 on Jan. 12, 2017 . . . Mexico City can’t be much worse than Detroit, where the Mavericks have lost their last three visits . . . Luka Doncic will be aiming for his 20th consecutive game with at least 20 points, five rebounds and five assists. He already has the record for most consecutive 20-5-5 games since the ABA/NBA merger. Only Oscar Robertson in 1965 (29) and ’64 (25) has longer streaks . . . The Mavs have been very good about holding onto leads. They are 13-1 when leading going into the fourth quarter. They are 3-6 when trailing going into the final 12 minutes . . . This could be a Boban Marjanoic kind of game with the Pistons leaning heavily on brutish center Andre Drummond, who leads the NBA in rebounding at 16.7 per game. Marjanovic had 16 points and 16 rebounds in his most recent game against New Orleans . . . The Mavericks have been awesome on the road this season, going 8-2 and winning their last four games away from home. Their last road loss was nearly a month ago, Nov. 14, in the clunker at New York.
About the Pistons: They have come alive of late with four wins in their last five games, including a 105-103 thriller at New Orleans on Monday to start this three game trip that ends Saturday in Houston . . . As mentioned above, Drummond leads the league in rebounding and also averages 17.5 points per game. He recently had three consecutive 20-20 games . . . Drummond also averages nearly 2 blocks per game, but here’s a tip for the Mavericks: Don’t guard him on the 3-point line. He’s 0-for-12 from beyond the arc this season . . . Apart from that, the Mavericks will have to pay close attention to the 3-point arc. Even with Drummond, the Pistons lead the league in 3-point accuracy at 39.2 percent . . . Veteran point guard Derrick Rose remains one of the great comeback stories in the NBA after serious knee injuries earlier in his career. He’s averaging 16.1 points and 5.8 assists while playing slightly less than half of the time . . . Look for leading scorer Blake Griffin (18.1 per game) to come out aggressive. He shot just 1-of-9 in the win over New Orleans and scored just five points. He was averaging 21.7 in the three games before that.
Share and comment