PELICANS 26-35) AT MAVS (37-25)
Time: 8:30 p.m.
Place: American Airlines Center, Dallas
TV: FSSW, ESPN
Radio: ESPN 103.3 FM; Univision 1270 AM (Spanish)
About the Mavs: The Mavs open a three-game home stand tonight against New Orleans. This will be the fourth meeting between the two clubs this season, but the first time the Mavs have faced the Pelicans’ sensational rookie, Zion Williamson. In the two teams’ previous three meetings this season, Williamson was out with an injury. . .The Mavs went 3-0 against New Orleans in a 44-day span earlier this season. Luka Doncic registered a triple-double – 25-10-10 – during a 123-116 Mavs’ victory in New Orleans on Oct. 25. Back on Dec. 3, Doncic produced 33 points and a career-high 18 rebounds and the Mavs got out of the Crescent City with a 118-97 victory. And on Dec. 7 in Dallas, Doncic finished with 26 points, six rebounds and nine assists in leading the Mavs to a 130-84 win over the Pelicans. . .The Mavs are 44-22 all-time against the Pelicans, including a 26-6 record during games played in Dallas. . .Seth Curry is questionable for tonight’s game with lower back tightness. Curry scored 64 points in his last two games – including a career-high 37 points last Friday in Miami — before missing Monday’s disappointing 109-107 setback in Chicago with tightness in his lower back. . .Kristaps Porzingis (left knee, injury recovery) will be back on the court tonight after sitting out the second end of a back-to-back on Monday against the Bulls. . .The Mavs, who also will host Memphis on Friday and Indiana on Sunday, are 16-14 at home.
About the Pelicans: The big shot in the arm for the Pelicans this season has been the addition of rookie phenom Zion Williamson. The No. 1 overall pick of last summer’s NBA Draft, Williamson sat out the Pelicans’ first 44 games after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right knee. But in the 16 games he’s played, he’s been nothing short of spectacular. The 6-6, 284-pounder is averaging 24.2 ppg and 6.9 rpg while shooting 58.8 percent from the field and 41.7 percent from 3-point range. . .If Williamson plays tonight, it will be the first time he’s played games on back-to-back nights in the NBA. After Tuesday’s 139-134 loss at home to the Minnesota Timberwolves, Williamson told reporters: “I feel fine. We got a great training staff. They did the necessary recovery things and I’ll be ready (to play against the Mavs).”. .How powerful is New Orleans’ starting five? Four of them produced a 24-point plus game during the five-point loss to the Timberwolves. Jrue Holiday finished with a triple-double (27 points, 10 rebounds, 12 assists), Lonzo Ball had 26 points and eight assists, Williamson collected 25 points and eight boards, and Brandon Ingram added 24 points. . .New Orleans is seated 12th in the Western Conference standings and four games behind the Memphis Grizzlies for the eighth and final playoff spot out West with 21 games to play. . .JJ Redick won’t play tonight due to a strained left hamstring. . .The Pelicans are 14-16 on the road.