GAME 65 PREVIEW
Pacers (38-25) at Mavericks (39-25)
Time: 6 p.m. CT
Place: American Airlines Center, Dallas
Radio: ESPN, 103.3 FM, Univision, 1270 AM (Spanish)
About the Mavs: They will be trying for a season-best fifth consecutive home victory, but will be facing a highly motivated Pacers’ team, given that the Mavericks took a 112-103 victory in Indiana on Feb. 3 . . . The Mavericks are a pedestrian 15-11 against Eastern Conference teams . . . Like the Pacers, the Mavericks are one of the lowest turnover teams in the league at 12.8 giveaways per game, third in the NBA . . . Curious stat of the season at this point is that the Mavericks are 1-10 at AAC when trailing going into the fourth quarter. Clearly, fans need to start putting on those rally caps . . . The Mavericks’ offense has gotten better and better as the season has gone along, particularly when it comes to making shots. They attempt, and make, the second-most 3-pointers in the NBA behind Houston. And their 37 percent rate from beyond the arc ranks seventh in the league . . . They have several injury concerns. Jalen Brunson (shoulder) remains out. Dorian Finney-Smith (hip), Tim Hardaway Jr. (illness) and Seth Curry (ankle) all could be limited, if they play at all. And Luka Doncic continues to fight thumb and leg problems . . . The Mavericks will visit the Spurs on Tuesday, their only road game during from March 3 to March 15.
About the Pacers: When the Mavericks won in Indiana on Feb. 3, it was part of a six-game losing streak the Pacers suffered through. But they won their final game before the All-Star break against Milwaukee and that started them on a 7-2 run that includes Friday’s 108-102 win at Chicago . . . This is the finale of a five-game road trip on which they are 3-1 so far . . . Against the Bulls, Domantas Sabonis had 24 points and 12 rebounds, but also had seven of the Pacers’ 21 turnovers. Usually, they are not a high turnover team, averaging just 13.2 per game, fifth in the league . . . Leading scorer T.J. Warren (18.7 per game) did not play at Chicago with a hip problem. Also, point guard Malcolm Brogdon (leg) did not play vs. the Bulls. Both are listed as day-to-day . . . The Pacers, by the way, lead the NBA in T.J.’s – Warren, McConnell and Leaf . . . They don’t play a fast pace, but their 47.6 percent shooting ranks seventh in the league and they also are seventh in the league in defensive rating . . . They also are 30th in the league in 3-pointers attempted at under 28 per game. But they are 12th in 3-point shooting percentage at .363 . . . Two-time All-Star Victor Oladipo has begun rounding into form after making his debut in late January after a ruptured quad cost him a full year. He’s averaged 16.7 points and shot 5-of-13 from 3-point range in his last three games.