MAVERICKS (36-28) AT MIAMI HEAT (35-30)
Time: 7 p.m.
Place: AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami
TV: Bally Sports Southwest
Radio: ESPN 103.3 FM; Univision 1270 AM (Spanish)
About the Mavericks: With a win tonight, the Mavs will clinch a winning record for the regular season. . .This is only a one-game road trip for the Southwest Division-leading Mavs before they return home to face a back-to-back situation when they host the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday and the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday. . .How crazy has things been in the wild, wild Western Conference? Before the Mavs hosted the Sacramento Kings on Sunday, they were a fifth seed out West. Before their game with the Kings ended, the Mavs slipped to the sixth seed, because the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Boston Celtics. And by the time the Mavs wound up losing to the Kings, 111-99, they had dropped to the seventh seed. However, once the Los Angeles Lakers lost to Toronto late Sunday night, that pushed the Mavs all the way back up to the fifth seed by virtue of their tiebreaker with the Lakers and Blazers. . . Since Portland lost to Atlanta, 123-114, on Monday – along with the Lakers’ 93-89 upset victory over Denver on Monday – the Mavs are now in sole possession of the sixth seed out West. . .Back on New Year’s Day in Dallas, the Mavs defeated the Heat, 93-83. It was the second-lowest scoring game of the season for the Mavs and one of three games they’ve played this season where neither team scored 100 points. Luka Doncic led the Mavs in that game with 27 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists. . .So how do the Mavs regroup after falling to 0-3 against the lowly Kings? Guard Jalen Brunson said: “We don’t think about it. You got to keep moving forward and just prepare for Miami.”. .The Mavs are 19-13 on the road and 16-9 against the Eastern Conference.
About the Heat: Miami has won seven of its last nine games and enters tonight’s contest on a three-game winning streak. The only Eastern Conference team currently with a longer winning streak are the Philadelphia 76ers, who have won their last five games. . .Jimmy Butler (21.5 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 7.2 apg) and Bam Adebayo (19.1 ppg, 9.1 rpg, 5.3 apg) are the top producers for the Heat. . .Butler contributed 28 points, eight rebounds and six assists last Wednesday – and Adebayo added 21 points and 11 boards — to pace Miami to a 116-111 victory over the San Antonio Spurs. . .Kendrick Nunn (22 points) and Duncan Robinson (20 points, 6-of-9 on 3-pointers) led the Heat to a 124-107 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers this past Friday. Miami shot 54 percent from the field (47-of-87) and 50 percent from 3-point range (18-of-36) in that game. . .Adebayo collected 20 points, seven rebounds and 10 assists, and Nunn tallied 19 points as Miami defeated Charlotte, 121-111, this past Sunday. . .In the Heat’s 93-83 loss in Dallas on Jan. 1, Miami shot just 37.2 percent from the field and misfired on 26 of its 33 attempts from 3-point territory. Also, the Heat played so poorly in that game that they trailed the Mavs, 46-31, at the half and their reserves wound up outscoring their starters, 43-40. . .The Heat are in first place in the Southeast Division and are the No. 6 seed in the East, but are just one game ahead of the Boston Celtics. . .Miami is 19-14 at home and 15-13 against Western Conference opponents.