The daily NBA preview takes it to the rim with tips for the only game on the day’s docket, a Western Conference blockbuster between the Dallas Mavericks and LA Clippers.
12:30 (AEDT), Wed 22nd Jan @ American Airlines Center, Dallas
History: Played 157: Mavericks 93 V Clippers 64
Last meeting: November 26, 2019: Clippers 114 d Mavericks 99 at American Airlines Center
Final Thoughts: The Dallas Mavericks and LA Clippers are both striving to extended winning streaks as the jostling for positions near the top of the Western Conference gets more vigorous.
The 30-13 Clippers sit fourth in the West and have won their last three. They swamped the Cavaliers and Magic at home by 25-plus margins, before edging the Pelicans 133-130 away. The Clippers trailed by five at three-quarter time in New Orleans before surging home.
Kawhi Leonard has been on an absolute tear, averaging 36 points in his past five games.
One spot back, the 27-15 Mavericks have emerged from a rough patch to win four straight. They have bookended strong home wins over the Sixers and Blazers with road victories over the Warriors and Kings.
Luka Doncic backed up his 25-15-17 triple-double in Sacramento with a 35-point effort at home against Portland two days later.
The Clippers snared an emphatic 114-99 road win over the Mavs in November after surging to a 16-point halftime lead.
Leonard (28 pts, 8 reb, 4 ast) led the way, while Doncic (22 pts, 8 reb, 6 ast) had one of his poorer games this season. That result ended a four-game losing streak in Dallas for the Clippers.
Kristaps Porzingis is hopeful of returning from injury, which would be crucial to easing the pressure on Doncic.
Excellent on the road, the Mavericks are just 13-10 at home. But the Clippers are a modest 11-10 away from Los Angeles.
There’s little in this – both teams are in good form and well-rested. The Clippers may hold a mental edge after getting the better of Luka the last time they were in town.