Los Angeles Clippers at Mavericks
(8 p.m. Monday, American Airlines Center, Dallas)
TV: Fox Sports Southwest
Radio: ESPN 103.3 FM (Univision 1270 AM, Spanish)
About the Mavericks (20-17): This will be the first of two meetings in three days at AAC against the Clippers. It also will be the second game in a row that the Mavericks are catching a team on the second night of a back-to-back situation. They won in Denver on Saturday after the Nuggets played in Memphis the night before. On Sunday, the Clippers were at New Orleans to start this three-game trip . . . The Mavericks have won 11 of their last 14 games bridging the All-Star break and will try to achieve four games over .500 for the first time this season . . . In his two games since the All-Star break, Kristaps Porzingis has averaged 26.5 points and 10 rebounds. He’s also hit 21-of-32 shots, including 7-of-12 from 3-point range . . . Josh Richardson has been on a torrid spell since the break, averaging 19.7 points, including his first back-to-back 20-point games as a Maverick. He’s also knocked in 9-of-15 3-pointers in those three games . . . Defense remains the key indicator for the Mavericks. They have held six of their last nine opponents to 107 points or less . . . The Mavericks better enjoy these whom games. After Wednesday’s rematch, they go on the road for eight of their next nine . . . The Mavericks are 1 1/2-point underdogs, according to bovada.com.
About the Clippers (25-15): They ended the first half of the season with three consecutive losses but broke out of the second-half gate with an easy win over Golden State before getting slammed by New Orleans on Sunday night. In that game at the Pelicans, the Clippers gave up 110 points in the first three quarters and were behind by 27. Their only good news from that game was that nobody played more than 29 minutes. They surely will be in a foul mood when they take the court against the Mavericks . . . They are fighting for a home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs with a normally solid combination of tough defense and ridiculously good 3-point shooting. Their 42-percent success rate is easily the best in the NBA and they have the second-best offensive rating in the league, averaging 118 points per 100 possessions . . . They are led by Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, who combine for 50 points per game. But one of their most underrated acquisitions in the offseason was big man Serge Ibaka, who they signed in free agency and is averaging 12 points and seven rebounds per game . . . They are a strong rebounding team, averaging three more rebounds per game than opponents. They also lead the NBA in free-throw percentage (84.3) . . . These will be the only two appearances this season at AAC for the Clippers, barring a rematch of last season’s first-round playoff series that happened in the restart bubble.