MAVS (36-23) AT HEAT (36-22)
Time: 7 p.m. CT
Place: American Airlines Arena, Miami
Radio: ESPN 103.3 FM; Univision 1270 AM (Spanish)
About the Mavs: This is the second of a four-game road trip for the Mavs. The week-long journey started with Wednesday’s 109-103 victory in San Antonio. In that game, Luka Doncic tied Jason Kidd for the franchise lead in career triple-doubles with 21 after he finished with 26 points, 10 rebounds and 14 assists. Also, Kristaps Porzingis tormented the Spurs with 28 point, 12 rebounds, three blocks and two steals. “He’s a wonderful player,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said of Porzingis. “What else can you say?”. . . Doncic is questionable for tonight’s game with a sprained left thumb, while Jalen Brunson (right shoulder sprain) and Willie Cauley-Stein (personal reasons) will not play . . . The road tip continues with a game Sunday in Minnesota and Monday in Chicago before the Mavs return home to host Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday . . . This is a big day for Doncic, because today is his 21st birthday . . . The Mavs are 7-4 in the month of February. The only teams with more road wins than the Mavs (20-9) are the Milwaukee Bucks (24-5) and Los Angeles Lakers (24-5) . . . The Mavs have the fifth-best plus/minus in the NBA at +6.1 . . . Seth Curry is shooting an amazing 56.3 percent from 3-point range in his last seven games . . . The Mavs have lost five straight games to Miami and are 31-35 all-time against the Heat. That includes a 15-18 record in Miami.
About the Heat: Miami is one of the surprise teams in the NBA this season. The Heat currently lead the Southeast Division and are seeded fourth in the Eastern Conference. They also are tied with the Utah Jazz for the ninth-best record in the league . . . However, after starting the season with an impressive 34-15 record, Miami has struggled lately with losses in seven of its last nine games. Five of those losses were against bottom-feeder teams that wouldn’t be in the playoffs if the postseason started today, losses to Sacramento (105-97), Portland (115-109), Atlanta (129-124), Cleveland (125-119 in overtime) and Minnesota (129-126) . . . Bam Adebayo, who played in the All-Star game and also was the All-Star Weekend Skills Challenge champion, had a triple double (18 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists) in Miami’s four-point win at Dallas in December. Lately, he produced 28 points, a season-high 19 rebounds and seven assists in the Feb. 20 loss to the Hawks. Adebayo also manufactured 22 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists in this past Monday’s loss to the Cavs, and 22 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists in Wednesday’s loss to the Timberwolves . . . Miami (23-4) has the league’s third-best home record behind Philadelphia (28-2) and Milwaukee (26-3), so something’s got to give considering the Mavericks’ stellar road record . . . All-Star guard Jimmy Butler leads the Heat with 20.5 ppg, 6.8 rpg and 6.2 apg, Adebayo averages 16.2 ppg, 10.5 rpg and 5.1 apg, and Kendrick Nunn is averaging 15.7 ppg.
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