MAVERICKS (40-28) AT MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES (35-33)
Time: 7 p.m.
Place: FedEx Forum, Memphis
TV: Bally Sports Southwest
Radio: ESPN 103.3 FM; Univision 1270 AM (Spanish)
About the Mavericks: The magic number for the Mavs to clinch a playoff spot is two. Any combination of wins by the Mavs and losses by the Los Angeles Lakers totaling two will send the Mavs into the playoffs for the second straight season. . .This is the first leg of a back-to-back for the Mavs before they high-step it back home to entertain the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday. The Mavs will also host the Toronto Raptors on Friday before finishing the regular season on Sunday in Minnesota. . .If they win their final four regular season games, they’ll have a 44-28 record and be one win better than the 43-32 record they posted last season when they played 75 games. . .No team in the NBA has a better record over the last 12 games than the 10-2 worksheet the Mavs have posted during that time frame. The Mavs, in fact, are 17-7 since March 29 with three of the losses coming to the Sacramento Kings. . .The Mavs are seeking their season-high tying fifth straight win tonight. They also won five in a row from March 29-April 5 when they defeated Oklahoma City, Boston, New York, Washington and Utah. . .The last time the Mavs played the Grizzlies, Luka Doncic made national headlines when he nailed an off-balanced game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer to give the Mavs an electrifying 114-113 victory in Memphis. The Mavs brought the ball inbounds near midcourt with just 1.8 seconds left and down 113-111. Doncic split a pair of defenders – Jonas Valanciunas and Dillon Brooks – before lunging and leaning forward and flipping in the improbable winning shot. Doncic finished that game with 29 points, five rebounds and nine assists. . .Tim Hardaway Jr. came off the bench to pour in 29 points on 7-of-11 baskets from beyond the 3-point arc to lead the Mavs to a 102-92 triumph over the Grizzlies in Dallas on Feb. 22. . .The Mavs have won 21 road games. The only team with more road wins are the Phoenix Suns, who have 22.
About the Grizzlies: Memphis clinched a spot in the play-in tournament with Monday’s 115-110 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans. And the Grizzlies celebrated by putting on a block party. Memphis blocked a whopping 19 shots against the Pelicans. While Dillon Brooks led the scoring for the Grizzlies with 23 points, Jonas Valanciunas finished with 20 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks, Jaren Jackson Jr. produced 12 points, seven rebounds and four blocks, and Kyle Anderson added 14 points and four blocks. . .The Grizzlies have won three of their last four games. Jackson contributed 20 points and three steals during this past Saturday’s 109-99 victory over the Toronto Raptors, and Valanciunas added 18 points, 21 rebounds and four blocks. . .Last Wednesday, Ja Morant collected 37 points and 10 assists to lead the Grizzlies to a 139-135 triumph over the Minnesota Timberwolves. Also in that game for Memphis, Desmond Bane came off the bench to pour in 22 points, and Anderson added 20 points on 7-of-9 shots. . .In that 114-113 buzzer-beating loss to the Mavs on April 14, Grayson Allen had a chance to put Memphis ahead by four points and possibly ice the game. But Allen, an exceptional 90.6 percent free throw shooter at the time, missed a pair of charity tosses with just 2.2 seconds remaining. That left the door wide open, and Luka Doncic raised up and knocked the door down when he buried that leaner of a 3-pointer at the buzzer to shock the Grizzlies. Allen scored 23 points in that game and made 6-of-11 baskets from beyond the 3-point line. Valanciunas added 19 points and 16 rebounds, and Morant contributed 17 points and five assists. . .During the 102-92 loss to the Mavs on Feb. 22, Morant finished the game with 22 points, nine assists and two steals. Memphis trailed that contest, 81-62, after the third quarter. . .The Grizzlies are only 15-18 at home and are averaging 113.2 ppg while allowing 112.5 ppg.