The eighth-placed Dallas Mavericks host the sixth-placed Phoenix Suns in a Western Conference clash on Wednesday evening, with the Mavs hoping to end a losing streak and the Suns looking to extend a winning streak.
Phoenix is on a six-game winning run and star man Kevin Durant put up 43 points in their last game. Dallas has lost two straight, including one to the Los Angeles Lakers, who are one place behind the Mavericks.
Both teams could use a win to further solidify their playoff places.
|American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas
|8:30 PM ET, Wednesday, January 24th
|How to watch
Dallas Mavericks Money Line +120
With the Suns on a six-game winning streak, the Mavericks will have their work cut out to get the better of Phoenix on Wednesday, but their ability to gain big victories at home should not be underestimated.
Dallas have won five of their last eight home games, in a run that has included victories over highflying Western Conference rivals in the New Orleans Pelicans and Minnesota Timberwolves, and they are even better coming off the back of a defeat.
The Mavericks have won eight of their 11 home games following a defeat, suggesting that, after losing to Eastern Conference leaders the Boston Celtics on Monday, they could be set to enact their revenge on the Suns, who they beat in the last meeting between the pair back in December.
Luka Doncic Over 9.5 assists +100
Although he is questionable with a back injury for this game, Luka Doncic is not one to shy away from big contests and the likelihood is he will be fit for this clash with a team only slightly above the Mavericks in the standings.
The Slovenian star dropped 50 points on the Suns in their meeting earlier in this season in a game that saw him become the sixth-youngest player in NBA history to reach 10,000 career points.
Dallas were without their other star, Kyrie Irving, for that December meeting which could explain why Doncic scored at such a high rate.
Irving should be available for this clash and as a result, Luka could turn provider, with over 9.5 looking like a generous assist line for a player that has registered 23 in his last two games.
Under 240.5 total points -110
Both of these sides boast an obscene amount of firepower - namely Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving for the Mavericks and Kevin Durant, Bradley Beal and Devin Booker for the Suns - they may not provide an overly high-scoring encounter on Wednesday.
None of Phoenix’s last four games have gone over 240.5 points and only two of Dallas’ last five have. Plus, Phoenix plays at a slow pace which leads to fewer possessions, and that means there are fewer opportunities to score.
The last meeting between the pair saw 242 points scored but that total was boosted significantly by a brilliant 50-point effort from Doncic - a level of performance that is rarely seen in the NBA - so the under rates the better play this time around.
Luka Doncic, lower back tightness, questionable
Seth Curry, ankle, questionable
G, Dante Exum, heel, questionable
Kyrie Irving, thumb, questionable
C, Bol Bol, foot, out
SG, Eric Gordon, wrist, questionable
SG, Damion Lee, knee, out
The Mavericks have won eight of their last 11 home games on the back of a defeat. Phoenix are on a six-game winning run in the NBA.
Stylistically, both teams like to get their stars isolated in one-on-one situations. Dallas does it with 10.3 percent of its possessions - second-highest in the league - while the Suns do it 7.4 percent of the time which is the joint-seventh highest rate.
Phoenix has two three-point shooters making those shots at an astronomical rate: Durant is making 46.4 percent and Grayson Allen is making 49.1 percent, with both players shooting more than five attempts per game. As a team, they have the ninth-highest three-point percentage.
The Mavericks have not been as successful from behind the arc, sitting in the middle of the league with a 36.8 percent clip. The team's faster pace this season has helped them into eighth place in points scored per game, but they rank in the bottom half of the league in both field goal percentage and free throw percentage.
Dallas takes care of the ball a lot better than Phoenix does, but the Suns block 1.5 more shots per game than the Mavericks. These are two teams with similar levels of skill, but they have different approaches to winning games which makes this matchup a compelling one.
|Dallas Mavericks overall wins
|Phoenix Suns overall wins
This article was written by a partner sports writer via Spotlight Sports Group. All odds displayed on this page were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time.