After crushing the New Orleans Pelicans on the road on Wednesday, the Dallas Mavericks look for a similar outcome in the friendly confines of American Airlines Center in Dallas on Friday night.
The Mavs were able to get out of their rut in the record-setting 139-107 victory over New Orleans with large thanks to star Luka Doncic, who registered a double-double in the first half. As a team, the Mavs shot 68.7 percent, the highest in franchise history.
However, the Mavs are only 2-5 in their last seven games. Another fast start by Doncic would go a long way in helping Dallas regain its cohesiveness and rhythm. Doncic looks to stay hot... Since returning from leg injuries, Doncic is averaging 28 points, 10.8 assists and shooting 44.4 percent from 3-point range in four games.
Kristaps Porzingis is back on the injury report and is out tonight with a left knee contusion. Porzingis is fresh off a a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds in 28 minutes in Wednesday's win.
Zion Williamson will not make his comeback against Dallas. Williamson's return has been delayed after experiencing soreness in his foot.
INJURY REPORT: Frank Ntilikina (right calf strain) has been upgraded to probable for tonight's game against the Pelicans. Porzingis (left knee contusion) is now out. Willie Cauley-Stein (personal reasons) remains out.
For New Orleans: TBD but Zion (foot) is expected to be out. With no Zion, the Pelicans are reliant on big man Jonas Valanciunas.
RECORDS: DALLAS MAVERICKS (11-9) at NEW ORLEANS PELICANS (6-18)
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WHEN: Friday, December 3, 2021 at 7:30 p.m. CT
LOCATION: American Airlines Center (Dallas, TX)
TV/RADIO: BSSW, 97.1 The Eagle (KEGL)
ODDS: The Mavs are 7.5-point favorites vs. the Pelicans on FanDuel.
PREDICTION: Mavs cover.
NEXT: On the second night of a back-to-back, the Mavs host the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday night.
FINAL WORD Tim Hardaway Jr. about the most significant difference between the offensive systems of departed coach Rick Carlisle and new boss Jason Kidd.
"I don't think nothing, to be quite honest," Hardaway Jr. answered after letting out a subtle chuckle. "We are out there playing free."