Game No. 20.
Phoenix Suns at Mavericks
(7:30 p.m., Monday, American Airlines Center, Dallas)
TV: Fox Sports Southwest, NBA TV
Radio: ESPN 103.3 FM (Univision 1270 AM, Spanish)
About the Mavericks (8-12): This could be the first appearance for Maxi Kleber since Jan. 9 against Orlando. The 6-10 Kleber has missed the last 11 games while undergoing COVID-19 protocols. Before he was sidelined, Kleber was the Mavericks’ best 3-point shooter at just over 47 percent . . . The Mavericks need all the help they can get at the moment, having lost five in a row. On the bright side, they have played the hardest schedule in the NBA so far, according to basketball-reference.com . . . During the losing streak, Kristaps Porzingis has sat two of the five games and in the three that he’s played, he’s shot 36 percent, including 20 percent from 3-point range, averaging 15 points in 30 minutes per game . . . As a team, the Mavericks are shooting 29.9 percent from 3-point range during the skid and opponents are outscoring them on average 119.4-106.2 . . . Also over the last five games, Luka Dončić has averaged 29 points, 8.8 assists and 6.8 rebounds while shooting 51 percent from the field (32.4 percent from 3-point range) . . . The Mavericks got beat by the Suns 111-105 on Saturday and will try to avoid going 0-3 against them for this season . . . Bovada has installed the Mavericks as 1½-point favorites.
About the Suns (10-8): The Suns are tied for sixth in the Western Conference and their six-point win over the Mavericks on Saturday was their consecutive after having lost three close games in a row . . . High-scoring Devin Booker missed Saturday’s game with a hamstring problem and is questionable for the rematch . . . Dario Saric (health/safety protocols) and Cameron Payne (right foot) are out . . . The Suns have morphed into a pretty solid defensive team, placing fifth in defensive rating in the league through one-quarter of the season. Interestingly, they also allow the most 3-point shots per game, yet have the fifth-lowest points allowed at 107.5 per game . . . In Saturday’s win, Chris Paul took charge in the fourth quarter with 16 points and five assists as the Suns outscored the Mavericks 34-23 to rally for the win. Paul had 29 points and 12 assists for the game . . . They also outrebounded the Mavericks 42-38 in that game behind Deandre Ayton’s 17 boards . . . Former Maverick Jae Crowder has been a nice addition to the Suns, averaging 11 points, 5 rebounds and shooting 36 percent from 3-point range . . . Forward Mikal Bridges, a former teammate of Jalen Brunson’s at Villanova, has made a nice jump this season, averaging 14.8 points, 5.4 rebounds and shooting 43.3 percent from 3-point range.
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