Mavericks (18-9) at Sixers (20-9)
Time: 7 p.m. CT
Place: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia
TV: Ch. 21, ESPN
Radio: ESPN, 103.3 FM, Univision, 1270 AM (Spanish)
About the Mavs: They have lost their last three visits to Philadelphia, including last season’s 106-100 defeat that came in early January . . . Luka Doncic will not play as he continues to rehab his sprained right ankle. It will be the third consecutive game he’s missed . . . The home team has won six of the last seven meetings . . . The Mavericks, however, have been remarkable on the road so far this season, going 10-2. It’s the second-best road record through 12 games in franchise history, behind only the 11-1 start they had on the road in the 2011 championship season . . . Their shooting has been on a tear lately, despite shooting under 40 percent in the Wednesday loss to Boston. The Mavericks have hit at least 15 3-pointers in five consecutive games and 12 of their last 15. During that span, they have made 38.9 percent of their shots from deep . . . Doncic has missed three games (save the 2 minutes he played at the start against Miami before getting injured. During those three games, Kristaps Porzingis has averaged 23.7 points and 13 rebounds . . . The Mavericks continue to rely heavily on their bench, ranking fourth in the league in points by reserves at 443. per game.
About the Sixers: They have lost two in a row, including their first loss at home (against 14 wins) after Miami came into Philly on Wednesday night and gutted out a 108-104 victory . . . The Sixers’ starting five is as big and physical as any team in the league, paced by 7-footer Joel Embiid (22.7 ppg, 12.8 rpg), 6-9 Al Horford (13.4 ppg) and 6-10 Ben Simmons, one of the few point guards bigger than Luka Doncic at 6-10. He’s averaging 14.4 ppg, 8.1 apg and 6.7 rpg . . . Where the Sixers are lacking somewhat is in their depth. Furkan Korkmaz, Mike Scott, James Ennis and rookie Matisse Thybulle are their primary bench contributors . . . Their defense can be sticky, allowing the fifth-fewest points per game in the league. And their rebounding is outstanding, grabbing nearly six more boards per game than their opponents . . . Tobias Harris remains one of the underrated players in the NBA, averaging 19.7 points and 6.8 rebounds . . . The Sixers on Thursday were lodged in fifth place in the Eastern Conference. In the West, they would have been No. 3.