Two streaking teams collide on Wednesday night in a 6 p.m. CT showdown. The Dallas Mavericks are heating up and looking to add to their three-game winning streak, while the Charlotte Hornets have won four straight.
COVID CONUNDRUM: Mavs coach Rick Carlisle may have to get creative again with the lineup, as Jalen Brunson, Dorian Finney-Smith, and Josh Richardson, Maxi Kleber and Dwight Powell remain out due to COVID-19 protocol.
Due to a lack of available Dallas players, the Mavs game scheduled for Monday against the New Orleans Pelicans was postponed in accordance with the league’s Health and Safety Protocols.
Enter the most important storyline...THE RETURN OF KRISTAPS PORZINGIS. Fans have been anxious to see the Mavs star play, after missing the first nine games of the season, recovering from right knee surgery. Porzingis averaged 20.4 points, a career-high 9.5 rebounds and 2 blocks in 57 games (all starts) in 2019-20.
With Porzingis set for his season debut, Dallas will have a total of 12 players available for the Wednesday night game, including Luka Doncic, Tim Hardaway Jr., and James Johnson - each photographed on the team plane Tuesday afternoon.
Without five of their top seven players, Dallas will again look to Doncic to carry to burden. Doncic has recorded back-to-back triple-doubles. Also, Hardaway Jr. is heating up, totaling 36 points in the Mavs win vs. Denver on Saturday, his highest-scoring game with Dallas.
FUN FACT: Dallas rookie forward Nate Hinton is returning home to North Carolina for his first game in his native state.
HORNET TO WATCH: Rookie LaMelo Ball is quickly turning heads. In Charlotte's win vs. the Knicks on Monday, Ball narrowly missed his third straight double-double. Ball finished with eight points, a career-high 14 rebounds (most by a Hornets rookie since Michael Kidd-Gilchrist in 2013), seven assists and three steals.
ODDS: Mavs favored by 4.5 points. Hornets vs. Mavericks over/under is 220 points.
RECORDS: Dallas Mavericks (5-4) vs. Charlotte Hornets (6-5)
WHEN: Wednesday, January 13, 2021, 6 p.m. CT
LOCATION: Spectrum Center - Charlotte, NC
TV/RADIO: Fox Sports Southwest, NBA TV, ESPN 103.3