The Dallas Mavericks play on the road for the first time since Feb. 3 (22 days ago!) and look to stay hot after winning seven of their last nine games. The Mavs are visiting the formidable Eastern Conference leading Philadelphia 76ers (21-11) and MVP candidate Joel Embiid.
Thursday night's game is only the second time that 2021 All-Stars Luka Doncic and Joel Embiid have faced off against one another. Embiid is having a career year this season, third in the league in scoring and averaging more than 30 points and 11 rebounds per game. He’s also dangerous from beyond the arc, making 39 percent of his 3-point shots.
How the Mavs (15-15) slow Embiid will largely depend on the injury report. Kristaps Porzingis, who didn’t play in the last two Dallas games, is listed as doubtful with a back issue on the NBA's official injury report. Maxi Kleber is probable with a sprained ankle suffered in the Memphis game. The 7-foot-3 Porzingis back in the lineup to help contain Embiid would be a major boost, but he's been declared as OUT, so ... Look for more Boban Marjanovic minutes tonight.
This is the first leg of a three-game road trip for the Mavs who continue to Brooklyn and Orlando next.
WELCOME BACK: Tonight is a Philadelphia homecoming for Josh Richardson, who came to Dallas along with the draft rights to Tyler Bey in exchange for Seth Curry.
ODDS: The Mavs are 5.5-point underdogs and the total over/under is 225.5 points.
BETTING TRENDS: Dallas is 4-11 against-the-spread in their last 15 games. Dallas is 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games against Philadelphia. The total has gone OVER in 7 of Dallas' last 9 games. Philadelphia is 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games.
RECORDS: DALLAS MAVERICKS (15-15) @ PHILADELPHIA 76ERS (21-11)
WHEN: Thursday, February 25, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. CT
LOCATION: Wells Fargo Center (Philadelphia, PA)
TV/RADIO: TNT, Fox Sports Southwest, NBA League Pass, ESPN 103.3 FM, Univision 1270 AM
FINAL WORD: On Tuesday, Coach Rick Carlisle address Porzinigis' status:
"The back thing, I don’t expect to be a long-term thing. We’ll work through this and we’ll get him back on the floor as soon as we can.”