MAVERICKS (22-18) AT NEW YORK KNICKS (20-21)
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Place: Madison Square Arena, New York
TV: BSSW, ESPN
Radio: The Eagle, 97.1 FM; Univision 99.1 FM (Spanish)
About the Mavericks: This is the midway point of the season game for the Mavs, who were 19-17 during the midway point of last year’s COVID-19-shortened 72-game season. . .The Mavs are currently in a good space. As of now, they’re riding a six-game winning streak for the first time since March 28-April 8, 2016. During the winning streak, the Mavs are averaging 108.7 ppg and allowing 93 ppg. . .For the Mavs, this is the opener of a short two-game road trip, which ends Friday in Memphis before they return home to entertain the Orlando Magic on Saturday. . .The Mavs are coming off Sunday’s 113-99 victory over a Chicago Bulls’ team that came to Dallas sporting the best record in the Eastern Conference and carrying a nine-game winning streak. It was the second extremely impressive win by the Mavs over a five-day span. Back on Jan. 6, the Mavs beat up the Golden State Warriors, 99-82. At the time, the Warriors were owners of the best record in the entire NBA. . .Coach Jason Kidd (health and safety protocols), forward Kristaps Porzingis (health and safety protocols) and center Willie Cauley-Stein (personal reasons) will all miss tonight’s game. . .In the victory over the Bulls, Luka Doncic picked up his 39th career triple-double as he finished with 22 points, 14 rebounds and 14 assists. He is the first NBA player to produce such numbers this season. . .Also against the Bulls, Maxi Kleber posted a season high in points (18) and tied his career-high in made three-pointers (six). In addition against the Bulls, Josh Green tallied a career-high in points (18), and Jalen Brunson contributed 17 points. It was the 21st straight games Brunson has scored 10 or more points, and he’s averaged 17.3 ppg during those 21 games. . .Doncic is averaging 24.8 ppg, 8.2 rpg and 9.0 apg, Brunson averages 16 ppg and 5.6 apg, Tim Hardaway Jr. is averaging 14.5 ppg, and Dorian Finney-Smith averages 10.5 ppg.
About the Knicks: Winners of six of their last nine games, the Knicks are one-game under .500 at the midway juncture of a season. This comes a year after the Knicks lost to the Atlanta Hawks in the first round of the playoffs. . . .A native of Plano, forward Julius Randle has gotten himself into the crosshairs of Knicks’ fans. After he scored a basket during last Thursday’s 108-105 win at home over the Boston Celtics, Randle gave the thumbs down sign to the fans as he was running back down the court. And during the postgame press conference, Randle used some profanity when discussing the fans. The NBA fined Randle $25,000 for what they described as “egregious” use of profane language, and Randle later apologized to the fans. But the damage was already done. And in the Knicks’ next home game this past Monday when they defeated the San Antonio Spurs, 111-96, the fans booed Randle and the “Obi Toppin! Obi Toppin! chants could frequently be heard. Toppin is the backup to Randle, who was just 1-of-7 from the field against the Spurs and finished with only two points and 12 rebounds. . .RJ Barrett dropped in 31 points against the Spurs, Evan Fournier contributed 18 points, five rebounds and two steals, and Alex Burke added 16 points and two steals. . .Barrett banked in a dramatic three-pointer at the buzzer which beat the Celtics last Thursday. In that same game, Fournier was absolutely incredible as he finished with a career-high 41 points and was a sizzling 10-of-14 from three-point territory, and Randle had 22 points, eight boards and a pair of steals. . .A first-time All-Star last season, Randle is averaging 19 ppg and 10.2 rpg, Barrett averages 16.2 ppg and 5.4 rpg, and Kemba Walker and Fournier are each averaging 13.6 ppg. Also for the Knicks, Derrick Rose averages 12 ppg, Burks is averaging 11.8 ppg and Immanuel Quickley averages 10.7 ppg.