On the second night of a back-to-back, the Dallas Mavericks travel to Oklahoma City for their first road game during the second half of the season. But they will do so without Luka Doncic (ankle) and Kristaps Porzingis (knee).
This is really about rest and maintenance. But any way one slices it, it adds to the challenge.
The Mavericks, who are just 2-4 on the last leg of a back-to-back this season, are gunning for their fifth-straight win after last night's 115-104 victory over foe San Antonio.
Porzingis got his 28-point, 14-rebound performance last night. Porzingis is on a roll as of late with three straight double-doubles. When KP goes, the Mavs go; Dallas is 7-2 this season when he gets a double-double and 4-0 when he gets 20+ points and 10+ rebounds.
Other front-court players will have to pick up that slack here.
Can Dallas beat OKC without Luka? Doncic missed the first meeting with Oklahoma City, a 87-78 Dallas victory, due to low back tightness. Jalen Brunson could be a key helper there.
Tonight is the Mavs chance to grab their 11th win in 13 games. It is the Thunder's first game after the All-Star break.
Doncic Rising In Record Books: Last night, Doncic recorded his 30th career 20-point triple-double, which ranks 10th in NBA history. It was also his 33rd overall triple-double, which ties Bob Cousy for the 13th-most in NBA history.
ODDS: The Mavs entered the day 6.5-point favorites and the total over/under is N/A.
BETTING TRENDS: Head to head, the under is 4-0 in the last four meetings overall and the Mavericks are 8-2 against-the-spread in the last 10 meetings overall.
RECORDS: DALLAS MAVERICKS (19-16) at OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER (15-21)
WHEN: Wednesday, March 10, 2021 at 8 p.m. CT
LOCATION: Chesapeake Energy Arena (Oklahoma City, OK)
TV/RADIO: Fox Sports Southwest, NBA League Pass, ESPN 103.3 FM, Univision 1270 AM
FINAL WORD: Doncic after the Mavs' win over the Spurs:
“We are progressing as a team. KP has been way better gaining confidence after his injury. I think he is still working to build his confidence and he is going to be way better.”