MAVS (13-6) AT PELICANS (6-14)
Time: 6:30 p.m. CT
Place: Smoothie King Center, New Orleans
Radio: ESPN 103.3 FM; Univision 1270 AM (Spanish)
About the Mavs: This is the finale of a three-game, six-day road trip for the Mavs. Dallas is a perfect 2-0 on this trip after winning at Phoenix (120-113) on Friday and at the highly-touted Los Angeles Lakers (114-110) on Sunday . . . After tonight’s nationally televised contest, the Mavs will return home for a three-game home stand that starts Wednesday against the Minnesota Timberwolves . . . This is the opener of a back-to-back for the Mavs, who lost the front end of their only other back-to-back against New York Knicks in their only other back-to-back . . . They are an impressive 7-2 on the road this season. Last year they didn’t win but nine road games, and road win No. 7 didn’t come until Mar. 23 . . . The Mavs are currently first in the Southwest Division and are a No. 4 seed in the Western Conference. They also are fourth in the league in scoring (117.8 ppg), fourth in rebounding (47.7 rpg), tied for 10th in field goal shooting (46.1 percent), and are 10th in 3-point percentage (36.1 percent) . . . On Monday, Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey was reportedly asked about the Mavs’ chances of making the playoffs this season. His response? “Make the playoffs? They are one of the best teams in the NBA.”. . . Luka Doncic is third in the NBA in scoring (30.6 ppg), 15th in rebounding (9.9 rpg) and second in assists (9.6 apg). Everybody ahead of Doncic on the rebounding list is either a center or a forward . . . Kristaps Porzingis is averaging 17.2 ppg, 9.2 rpg and is fifth in the NBA in blocks at 2.1 bpg . . . The Mavs are 42-22 all-time against the Pelicans, including 17-16 in New Orleans. Dallas won in New Orleans on Oct. 25, 123-116, behind a 25-10-10 triple-double from Doncic.
About the Pelicans: New Orleans recently had a hot streak as it won three in a row over Golden State (108-100), Portland (115-104) and at Phoenix (124-121). Unfortunately for them, the Pelicans followed up those three victories with their longest winning streak of the season as they enter tonight’s game having lost their last five . . . But they have been competitive. Two of the losses were at the Oklahoma City Thunder last Friday, 109-104 and at home against the Thunder, 107-104, on Sunday, despite 26 points from Jrue Holiday and 20 points and seven rebounds from Brandon Ingram . . . The Pelicans conclude this three-game home stand on Thursday against Phoenix before playing the Mavs in Dallas on Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m . . . Ingram leads the Pelicans with 25.5 ppg and 7.4 rpg, Holiday averages 19.4 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 7.1 apg and 2.0 spg . . . New Orleans also has received notable production from J.J. Redick (15.2 ppg), Josh Hart (12 ppg, 6.6 rpg), Lonzo Ball (11.3 ppg, 5.8 apg) and E’twaun Moore (10 ppg) . . . The Pelicans’ prized rookie, Zion Williamson, has yet to make his NBA debut. The No. 1 overall pick in last June’s NBA Draft, Williamson underwent arthroscopic surgery on Oct. 21 to address a torn right lateral meniscus. Williamson was originally given a six-to-eight week timetable to return and play, and Monday was the six-week mark since he underwent the surgery. However, Williamson has yet to start any on-court activities. Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry has repeatedly said that there’s no way that the New Orleans organization will rush Williamson back onto the court.