DALLAS - The Dallas Mavericks host their 2020 NBA playoffs foe L.A. Clippers in a late tip off Monday night. It's the first of a two-game set and a chance for Dallas to win six of its last seven games and continue to climb the Western Conference standings. 

The Mavericks defense looks to stay stout; holding six of their last nine opponents to 107 points or less. Dallas is trending in the right direction, going 7-2 since the Texas storms allowed a schedule break; one of the losses vs. Philadelphia and the other in a game that Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis sat.

The Clippers lost to New Orleans last night, giving Dallas the rest advantage for the second straight game.

[READ: Doncic & Porzingis Return; Mavs Bury Nuggets, 116-103]

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All eyes on the Clippers' injury report which has listed Patrick Beverley (right knee soreness) as out. Serge Ibaka left the Clippers’ game on Sunday with lower back tightness and is questionable. On the second night of a back-to-back, Kawhi Leonard could be out for rest... So far he is available. 

FLASHBACK: Dallas won the previous meeting between the two teams by 51 points (124-73) at the Staples Center in late December. Dallas led by 50 (77-27) at halftime - setting a new NBA record for the largest advantage at intermission - and became first team to hold an opponent to 27-or- fewer points in the first half in over three seasons.

ODDS: The Mavs entered the day 1.5-point underdogs and the total over/under is 228.5.

BETTING TRENDS: The Clippers are 1-4 against-the-spread in their last five road games and 6-0 ATS in their last six games playing on zero days’ rest. The Mavericks are 4-1 ATS in their last five games against a team with a winning record.

RECORDS: DALLAS MAVERICKS (20-17) VS. LA CLIPPERS (25-15)

WHEN: Monday, March 15, 2021 at 8:00 p.m. CT

LOCATION: American Airlines Center (Dallas, TX)

TV/RADIO: Fox Sports Southwest, NBA League Pass, ESPN 103.3 FM, Univision 1270 AM

FINAL WORD: Porzingis after the Mavs win vs. Denver:

“Most importantly is that at the end of the day we have to hold each other accountable, but starting with ourselves. We’ve got to look in the mirror and say, ‘Ok, am I doing this, am I putting in the work, am I doing all the things necessary for us to be good as a team?'"

CONTINUE READING: Mavs Donuts: Luka Doncic Already Earning Next $195 Million Contract