Mavs GAMEDAY At Nuggets: Cauley-Stein Starting?

As the Dallas Mavericks prepare for their game against the Denver Nuggets, the return of Kristaps Porzingis is in the near future - and Willie Cauley-Stein might again be getting the call
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The Dallas Mavericks finish their three-game road trip in Denver vs. a Nuggets team looking for their third-consecutive victory. Meanwhile, the Mavs will be trying to string together two-straight wins for the first time this season.

And maybe Willie Cauley-Stein will string together two straight starts?

Dallas star Luka Doncic looks to build momentum from his first triple-double of the season in the Mavs most recent 113-100 win over the Houston Rockets. Doncic finished with 33 points, 16 rebounds and 11 assists on Monday night. Doncic has the most triple doubles in NBA history before turning 22 years old, and he also has more 30-15-10 performances than anyone else in the league since the 2018-2019 season.

Kristaps Porzingis will not play in Denver but his status updates remain positive. The 7-foot-3 standout is nearing a return. "In terms of a timetable, we’re not talking weeks," said Mavs coach Rick Carlisle. "We’re talking some time in the next week, week and a half, if all things continue to go well."

And what of another center?

The early game notes suggest that Cauley-Stein, along with Maxi Kleber, might be starters in Denver tonight.

We will keep an eye out ...

PORTER JR.: After missing three games due to the NBA's contract tracing protocols, Nuggets small forward Michael Porter Jr.’s quarantine has ended. He is available to play in Thursday night’s game against the Mavericks.

MAVS INJURY REPORT: Trey Burke (illness) is not with the team; Kristaps Porzingis (right knee surgery) is out.

FLASHBACK: The last time the Mavs and Nuggets played was a very memorable night... March 11 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas on the night the NBA took a hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Overlooked in the madness of that night was the play of reserve big man Boban Marjanovic, who got the start at center and torched Nikola Jokic to the tune of 31 points and 17 rebounds.

RECORDS: Dallas Mavericks (3-4) vs. Denver Nuggets (3-4)

WHEN: Thursday, January 7, 2021, 9:00 p.m. CT

LOCATION: Pepsi Center - Denver, CO

TV/RADIO: TNT, Fox Sports Southwest, ESPN 103.3

FINAL WORD: Will Barton III on teammate Nikola Jokic:

"I tell him before every game to go out there and win MVP. He could be the best player in the world if he wanted to. It’s all up to him. I feel like he just can’t be stopped."