With only four NBA regular season games remaining, the Dallas Mavericks are seeking their season-high-tying fifth-straight win tonight vs. the Memphis Grizzlies.
The Mavs have won 10 of their last 12 games and have clinched the Southwest Division title. Dallas, currently fifth in the Western Conference standings, can clinch an outright playoff berth with any combination of two Mavs wins or two losses by the Los Angeles Lakers.
No wonder, as part of the pregame visit with Rick Carlisle, that the Mavs coach spoke with confidence about what might be on the horizon.
"These four games are huge,'' Rick said. "We really are in control of what happens here. We've got to continue to really focus possession-to-possession and work the game whistle-to-whistle.''
That's a remark that is both about Dallas' ability to handle these foes ... and maybe about making sure technical-foul-prone Luka Doncic remains eligible.
The Memphis Grizzlies, currently ninth in the West, have won two games in a row and have already secured a spot in the play-in tournament. Memphis could still sneak into the seventh or eighth spot depending on how the Lakers and the Golden State Warriors finish the season.
FLASHBACK: The last time these two teams met, Luka Doncic grabbed headlines when he nailed an incredible game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer to give the Mavs a 114-113 victory in Memphis.
FUN FACT: Tuesday night’s game will mark the 100th regular season meeting between the two franchises, where Dallas leads the all-time series, 69-3.
INJURY REPORT: Maxi Kleber is Questionable (Right Achilles) but is expected to play ... and Kristaps Porzingis is out (Right Knee).
ODDS: The Mavs entered the day as 1.5-point favorites over the Grizzlies, and the total over/under is 226.5.
BETTING TRENDS: Memphis has a 38-27 record against the spread, covering in 58.5% of their games. The Grizzlies have fared well as a 1.5-point underdog, going 22-12 against the spread when they are at least 1.5-point underdogs.
RECORDS: DALLAS MAVERICKS (40-28) @ MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES (34-33)
WHEN: Tuesday, May 11, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. CT
LOCATION: FedEx Forum (Memphis, TN)
TV/RADIO: TNT, BSSW, ESPN 103.3 FM, Univision 1270 AM
FINAL WORD: Coach Rick Carlisle said it would be optimal to have Porzingis back in the Doncic-led lineup for every imaginable reason.
“No question about that -- for conditioning, for chemistry, for rhythm, for things having to do with the system,'' Carlisle said. "It’s important to get those kinds of reps in in game situations as well as practice situations.”
COMING SOON: This is the first leg of a back-to-back for the Mavs before they travel back home to host the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday.