GAME 67 PREVIEW
Nuggets (43-21) at Mavericks (39-27)
Time: 7 p.m. CT
Place: American Airlines Center, Dallas
Radio: ESPN, 103.3 FM, Univision, 1270 AM (Spanish)
About the Mavs: Is this a possible playoff preview? The Mavericks would have to rise a spot (or have the Nuggets climb to No. 2 in the Western Conference) to set up a first-round playoff series between these two teams next month. As it stands, the Mavericks would open against the Los Angeles Clippers, but clearly the standings are going to be fluid the rest of the way . . . The Mavericks are riding a two-game losing streak after their 119-109 loss at San Antonio Tuesday. They have not lost three in a row all season . . . They are 1-1 against the Nuggets this season, with each team winning on the road. In Denver’s 107-106 win at AAC on Jan. 8, the Mavericks led by five points with under two minutes to go before the Nuggets scored the game’s last six points . . . Luka Doncic had been shooting 23.8 percent from 3-point range over seven games before busting loose for 6-of-13 3-pointers on Tuesday against the Spurs. He had 38 points, eight assists, seven rebounds and five turnovers in that game . . . Kristaps Porzingis has not been playing the second night of back-to-back situations. We’ll see if that changes against the Nuggets. He’s shot 7-for-32 over the last two games, so he’s due for a sharp shooting night . . . The Mavericks will complete their 12th back-to-back and so far they are 6-5 on the second night, including 3-2 when the second game is at home.
About the Nuggets: They are 1-3 on the road since the All-Star break . . . They are coming off a 109-95 victory over Milwaukee in Denver, but Giannis Antetokounmpo did not play in that game. The Nuggets were waiting in Dallas Tuesday night while the Mavericks played in San Antonio . . . They are led by center Nikola Jokic, who is averaging 20.3 points, 10.2 rebounds and 6.8 assists per game. In the win at Dallas in January, he had 33 points, seven assists and six rebounds, including the game-winning shot with 7 seconds to play. That was indicative of the way they’ve played this season on the road. They are 12-7 against Western Conference opponents on the road. Moreover, they are 13-1 on the road when they lead after the third quarter . . . The Nuggets are built on versatility. Jamal Murray is averaging 18.7 points. Will Barton, Paul Millsap, Jerami Grant and Gary Harris all average between 10 and 15 points per game . . . They are difficult to deal with on the boards. They are second in the league in offensive rebounding percentage and win the glass by an average of nearly two boards per game . . . They also hold opponents to 107.4 points per game, fifth-lowest total in the league . . .