Game No. 1.
Mavericks at Phoenix Suns (9:30 p.m. Wednesday, Phoenix Suns Arena, Phoenix)
TV: Fox Sports Southwest/ESPN
Radio: ESPN 103.3 FM (Univision 1270 AM, Spanish)
About the Mavericks (2-1 in preseason): They are 22-18 all-time in season openers, but had lost three in a row (including a 21-point setback in Phoenix in 2018) before beating Washington in Dallas to start last season . . . The likely starting lineup will be Luka Dončić, Tim Hardaway Jr., Dorian Finney-Smith, Josh Richardson and Dwight Powell . . . After going the first 44 games of his career without a triple-double, Luka has had 25 in the last 88 games . . . The Mavericks will be without center Kristaps Porzingis (knee surgery) until January . . . Other than that, the Mavericks are healthy, coach Rick Carlisle said Tuesday . . . Powell will be returning after suffering an Achilles tendon tear in January. He was a fixture in the starting lineup until then and averaged 9.4 points on 63.8 percent shooting and 5.7 rebounds before the injury . . . Also returning will be Jalen Brunson from his February shoulder injury that required surgery. Brunson likely will team with Maxi Kleber and Trey Burke as anchors of the second unit . . . The Mavericks will get tested early and often this season with three road games to start (at Suns, Lakers, Clippers) and 11 of their first 16 away from home . . . The Mavericks are favored by 1.5 points, according to vegasinsider.com.
About the Suns (0-4 in preseason): They made determined moves this offseason in an effort to end their 10-year playoff drought, bringing in Chris Paul and Jae Crowder to fortify a young roster built around high-scoring guard Devin Booker and emerging big man Deandre Ayton . . . “C.P. can be a perfect fit for them,” said Josh Richardson, who likely will spend some time guarding Paul. “He runs the team, he’s a floor general and he does his home work. When I played against him, when we call a play, he’s calling it out in their terms. He just knows the game very well.” . . . Booker averaged 26.6 points last season, including 30.5 points (and 6.0 assists) in the eight seeding games in the NBA restart. He was named to the all-bubble first team as the Suns won all eight of their games, including two against the Mavericks . . . The Suns have won their last two season openers, both at home, by a combined 50 points – by 29 against the Kings last season and by 21 in 2018 against the Mavericks . . . The Suns will head to Sacramento for two games against the Kings starting on Saturday.