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Phoenix Looks to Stay Unbeaten in November against the Luka-less Mavericks

Plus, Mike Woodson’s first big test as Indiana’s coach.

Did the NBA’s MVP race take an early turn last night? Kevin Durant entered Tuesday with an argument as the front-runner. But Stephen Curry balled out, Durant had his worst game of the year and the Warriors dominated the Nets. Between that statement game for Golden State and an epic Seton Hall win over Michigan in the men’s college game of the day, it was a fun night to be a basketball fan.

Tonight’s slate features a battle of hot teams in the Western Conference, plus more college hoops and some MACtion. Here’s what I’m watching today.

MUST WATCH

Dallas Mavericks at Phoenix Suns

chris-paul

This game looks slightly less appealing now that Luka Dončić is out after suffering a left leg injury Monday, but the Mavs are playing fantastic basketball of late and are winners of five of six. Dallas has been clutch in close games and the pieces around Dončić have begun to emerge. That’s a good sign for a Mavs team hoping to get over the hump, much like the Suns did a season ago. So far, Phoenix hasn’t seen any hangover effects from that run to the NBA finals and now sits at 10–3 thanks to an undefeated start to November. Perhaps most impressively, only three of the Suns’ eight wins in the month have been by single digits.

10 p.m. ET, ESPN, watch on fuboTV

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LINEUP

  • Washington Wizards at Charlotte Hornets | I doubt many people predicted that the Wizards would have the best record in the Eastern Conference at this point in the season, but here we are. They’ll get tested tonight by LaMelo Ball and the Hornets. 7 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Washington/Bally Sports SE, watch on fuboTV
  • College football: Northern Illinois at Buffalo | Sometimes a transfer works out best for all parties. Michigan State struggled last year with Rocky Lombardi at QB, and he hit the transfer portal. Now, MSU is rolling with Payton Thorne under center, and Lombardi is balling out for NIU, the best team in the MAC. 7 p.m. ET, ESPN2, watch on fuboTV
  • Men’s college basketball: Michigan State at Butler | College hoops at historic Hinkle Fieldhouse is always fun. This Gavitt Games battle between Butler and MSU should be no different. I’m excited to watch five-star freshman Max Christie in action for the Spartans, who believe their chemistry is much improved from last season. 7 p.m. ET, FS1, watch on fuboTV
  • Los Angeles Lakers at Milwaukee Bucks | Both these teams have taken their lumps early despite high expectations. SI’s Michael Pina broke down one potential fix for the Lakers last week: putting Russell Westbrook in more pick-and-rolls with Anthony Davis. Can the Lake Show start to right the ship against the defending champs? 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN, watch on fuboTV
  • Washington Capitals at Los Angeles Kings | An OT loss to the Ducks yesterday ended a four-game winning streak for the Capitals, who’ve ridden Alex Ovechkin to a strong start despite multiple key injuries around him. 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+

HIDDEN GEM

Men’s CBB: St. John’s at Indiana

Perhaps there’s something poetic about Mike Woodson’s first big test as the coach of the Hoosiers coming against the team that plays about half its home games in Madison Square Garden. Woodson, a Hoosier alum brought back after decades working in the NBA to restore glory to the IU program, is off to a solid start, albeit against inferior competition. He and star forward Trayce Jackson-Davis will have to deal with a St. John’s team with high expectations in 2021–22 thanks to the return of star wing Julian Champagnie and point guard Posh Alexander.

9 p.m. ET, FS1, watch on fuboTV

Think we missed something worth watching? Reply to guide@si.com and let us know what we should be looking out for and why.

Happy streaming!

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