INDIANA PACERS (20-23) AT MAVERICKS (23-19)
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Place: American Airlines Center, Dallas
Radio: ESPN 103.3 FM; Univision 1270 AM (Spanish)
About the Mavericks: Following a 9-14 start to this season, the Mavs have been one of the hottest teams in the NBA with victories in 14 of their last 19 games since losing at home to Golden State, 147-116, on Feb. 4. That includes wins over Brooklyn, the Los Angeles Clippers, Denver, Portland, Atlanta, San Antonio and Boston. . .The Mavs just ended a 2-1 road trip with Wednesday’s 128-108 triumph over the Minnesota Timberwolves that put them in first place in the Southwest Division for the first time this season. After tonight’s front end of a back-to-back, the Mavs will pack up and get out of town again and open a five-game road trip Saturday in New Orleans. The trip includes games in Oklahoma City on Monday, in Boston on Wednesday, at the New York Knicks on April 2, and at the Washington Wizards on April 3 before the Mavs return home to entertain the Utah Jazz on April 5. . . The Mavs are 4-3 on the front end of a back-to-back. . .Kristaps Porzingis collected 29 points, nine rebounds and two blocks in 29 minutes during the win over the Timberwolves. It was Porzingis’ second-highest scoring game of the season, topped only by the 36 points he poured in during a 143-130 victory over New Orleans on Feb. 12. . .The Mavs only led the Pacers, 93-92, after the third quarter when the two teams met in Indianapolis on Jan. 20. But the Mavs outscored the Pacers, 31-20, in the fourth quarter and went on to win, 124-112. Porzingis led the way in that game with 27 points and 13 rebounds, Trey Burke finished with 22 points and two steals, Jalen Brunson and Tim Hardaway Jr. tallied 19 points apiece, and Luka Doncic registered a triple-double with 13 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists.
About the Pacers: The Pacers are just half-a-game behind the Boston Celtics for the eighth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Pacers also are in second place in the Central Division, but a distant nine games behind the first-place Milwaukee Bucks. . .In the Pacers’ 124-112 loss to the Mavs in Indianapolis on Jan. 20, Malcolm Brogdon (26 points, five assists), Damantas Sabonis (25 points, 10 rebounds) and former Mavs forward Doug McDermott (16 points, eight rebounds) led Indiana. . .The Pacers come to town after defeating the Detroit Pistons at home on Wednesday, 116-111. Caris Levert (28 points, six rebounds), Edmond Sumner (18 points, 16 minutes), Sabonis (14 points, 11 boards) and Justin Holiday (14 points) led the way for the Pacers. . .This is the first of a two-game road trip for the Pacers, who play at the Washington Wizards on Monday . . .Indiana is 12-11 on the road and 7-10 against Western Conference teams. The only teams with more road victories than the Pacers are the Utah Jazz (15), Los Angeles Clippers (15), Phoenix Suns (14), Los Angeles Lakers (14), Denver Nuggets (14) and Brooklyn Nets (13). . .The Pacers are scoring at a 113.1 ppg clip and are allowing 113.2 ppg. . .Indiana has won three of its last four games. The lone loss occurred Monday in Milwaukee when they were blown out by the Bucks, 140-113. Besides that victory over Detroit, the Pacers also defeated the Miami Heat twice – 137-110 on March 19 and 109-106 in overtime on Sunday. . .Brogdon leads Indiana with 21.4 ppg and six assists and Sabonis is averaging 20.1 ppg and 11.2 rpg. Also, Myles Turner, who attended Euless Trinity High School, averages 12.8 ppg and 6.5 rpg and leads the NBA with 3.4 blocks per contest.