MAVS (20-10) at WARRIORS (9-24)
Time: 7:30 p.m. CT
Place: Chase Center, San Francisco
Radio: ESPN 103.3 FM; Univision 1270 AM (Spanish)
About the Mavs: This is the opener of a three-game road trip for the Mavs. Dallas plays at the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday and at the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday before returning home to host the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday in the opener of a season-high six-game home stand. . .This also is the opener of a back-to-back for Dallas. The Mavs are 2-1 in the opener of a back-to-back. That includes a loss at home to the New York Knicks on Nov. 8, a win at New Orleans on Dec. 3, and a home win over New Orleans on Dec. 7. . .Since winning five straight games from Nov. 29-Dec. 7, the Mavs have been alternating between wins and losses over the past eight games, going 4-4 during that period. . .The Mavs enter tonight’s contest after winning a hard-fought 102-98 home game over the San Antonio Spurs this past Thursday. The game marked the return of point guard Luka Doncic, who sat out the previous four games while nursing a right ankle sprain he suffered less than two minutes into a Dec. 14 home game against the Miami Heat. . .The Mavs have truly been road warriors – no pun intended –this season. The Lakers (14-3) and Milwaukee Bucks (13-3) are the only teams that have a better road record this season than the Mavs (11-3). . .The Mavs are 82-78 all-time against the Warriors, including a 34-46 record during games played in the Bay Area. . .This will be the Mavs’ first game in the brand new Chase Center, which opened this season after the Warriors made the move across the Bay Bridge to San Francisco and away from their long-time home in Oakland. . . The Mavs blew out the Warriors in Dallas, 142-94, back on Nov. 20 in a game where Doncic scored 33 of his 35 points in the first half. Doncic made 10-of-11 shots, 6-of-7 baskets from 3-point range and 7-of-8 free throws in the first half. He finished the game with 35 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists while playing only 25 minutes.
About the Warriors: Primarily because of injuries to superstar guards Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, the Warriors have the worst record in the Western Conference and the third-worst record in the entire NBA. However, what has happened to the Warriors lately pales in comparison to what happened to them earlier this season. . .The Warriors limped out to a 5-24 record during the first 29 games, but enters tonight’s game riding a season-high four game winning streak. During the streak, Golden State is averaging 110 ppg and shooting 43.8 percent from the field, 33.9 percent from 3-point territory, and averaging 49.3 rpg, 25.3 apg, 9.5 spg and 5.75 bpg. Defensively during the streak, Golden State has limited opponents to 101.5 ppg, 41.1 percent shooting from the field and 28.3 percent shooting from beyond the 3-point arc. . .D’Angelo Russell has been the centerpiece for the Warriors during their four-game winning streak. Russell is averaging 22.7 ppg and 6.0 apg during the season, but averages 26.5 ppg and 5.3 apg over the last four games. . .Damion Lee averages 11.9 ppg and 5.0 rpg on the year, and 18 ppg and 9.3 rpg during the past four games. . .Alec Burks (15.5 ppg), Eric Paschall (14.7 ppg) and Glenn Robinson III (11.8 ppg) has received some valuable playing time while the Warriors struggle with key injuries. . .The architect behind the Warriors’ appearances in the last five NBA Finals, Curry has played just four games this season after undergoing surgery on his broken left hand on Nov. 1. Thompson has yet to play in a game this season after having surgery to repair his torn left anterior cruciate ligament that occurred during last season’s NBA Finals. . .The Warriors won a home game over Phoenix on Friday,105-96, behind 31 points, five rebounds and six assists from Russell. . .The Warriors are 1-4 on the last end of a back-to-back.