HEAT (5-1) AT MAVS (4-2)
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Place: American Airlines Center, Dallas
About the Mavericks: The Mavs enter tonight’s contest winners in four of their last five games. Luka Doncic collected 23 points, eight rebounds and 10 assists during Sunday’s 105-99 victory over the Sacramento Kings. Doncic has scored 5,250 career points and is just nine points away from passing coach Jason Kidd (5,258) for 14th place on the Mavs’ all-time scoring list. . .This is the first leg of the second back-to-back of the season for the Mavs. Following tonight’s game, the Mavs will play the Spurs in San Antonio on Wednesday. The Mavs are 1-0 on the front end of a back-to-back this season after defeating the Spurs last Thursday in Dallas, 104-99. . .Forward Kristaps Porzingis is listed as questionable for tonight’s game with a lower back strain that forced him to miss the previous three games. . .Forward Maxi Kleber will miss tonight’s game with a strained back he injured seven minutes into the contest against the Kings. . .Doncic is the pace-setter for the Mavs with averages of 22.5 ppg, 8.5 rpg and 7.5 apg. Tim Hardaway Jr. is averaging 13.3 ppg, Porzingis averages 12.7 ppg and 6.0 rpg, and Jalen Brunson is averaging 10.7 ppg. A Miami native, Hardaway converted a career-high 10 baskets from three-point land (10-of-18) while scoring a game-high 36 points during a 127-113 win against the Heat in Miami last season. That ties the Mavs’ franchise record for the most three-point field goals made in a game.
About the Heat: Miami has one of the most impressive rosters in the entire NBA and is squarely in the conversation as one of the elite teams that has the tools to win the championship this season. . .That 5-1 record the Heat has ties them with the Utah Jazz and Golden State Warriors for the second-best record in the entire NBA. . .How powerful are the Heat? They opened the season by manhandling the defending NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks, 137-95. Six days later, Miami upended the Brooklyn Nets, 106-93. . .Miami’s only loss was a 102-91 defeat in overtime on Oct. 23 at the hands of the Indiana Pacers. . .Riding a four-game winning streak, the Heat comes into tonight’s nationally televised game after thumping the Grizzlies in Memphis, 129-103, this past Saturday. Miami tallied 67 points in the first half of that game and 62 points in the second half. Jimmy Butler led the Heat with 27 points on 8-of-12 shots, Tyler Herro poured in 22 points on 4-of-8 thee-pointers, and Kyle Lowry added 15 points, five rebounds, eight assists and three steals. . .The Heat’s acquisition of Lowry in a sign-and-trade with the Toronto Raptors has been hailed as the most significant pickup of this past offseason by any team. . .The Heat are led by Butler (25.3 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 5.5 apg), Herro (22 ppg, 6.7 rpg), Bam Adebayo ( 20.6 ppg, 14 rpg) and Duncan Robinson (10.5 ppg). Adebayo collected 19 rebounds last Friday against Charlotte and 16 boards in the loss to the Pacers.