Game: Dallas Mavericks @ Denver Nuggets
Time: 10:00 p.m.
Odds: Mavericks +4.5, Nuggets -4.5
In a span of 48 hours, the Denver Nuggets went from a four-game winning streak to a two-game losing skid. Now on the heels of two straight losses to Atlanta and New Orleans, the Nuggets take on a Dallas team looking for a little revenge. Dallas lost to the Nuggets 98-97 on Nov. 20, the second of a back-to-back series between the two teams. Denver played without Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, and Aaron Gordon but still managed to pull off the victory.
After that loss, the Mavs went on to lose four in a row. Dallas dropped games to Boston, Toronto, and Milwaukee after the Denver loss. Since the four-game losing streak, the Mavericks have won three of their last four games.
Dallas enters tonight having defeated Phoenix on Monday night 130-111. The win over the Suns was the second straight double-digit victory for Dallas. That is quite an accomplishment considering that the Mavericks have played seven games in the last 11 days. In the win over Phoenix, Luka Doncic had 33 points, eight assists, and six rebounds. He did all that while playing just three quarters. With the Mavs holding a huge lead, Dallas head coach Jason Kidd sent Doncic to the bench to rest for the final 12 minutes. That rest could play a role in tonight’s game.
Fortunately for Dallas, this is the second back-to-back where Doncic was able to take the fourth quarter off. In each of the last two games, Doncic played 29 minutes, which is significantly less than his season average of 36.8 minutes per night. He has played more than 40 minutes in six games this season.
Denver will have its stars – Jokic, Murray, and Gordon – back, but Kentavious Caldwell-Pope might not play because of a wrist injury. Jeff Green (knee) is probable, but Michael Porter Jr. (heel) has already been ruled out for tonight.
Due to the injuries, Denver head coach Michael Malone has had to change his starting lineups, which has affected the bench play. There has been a lack of consistency from the bench and it showed in the loss to New Orleans. Denver’s second unit was outscored 62-18 in the loss to the Pelicans on Sunday. Green makes that bench much better if he is able to play.
These two teams played a back-to-back on Nov. 18 and Nov. 20. In the first game, Doncic recorded a triple-double with 33 points, 12 rebounds, and 11 assists. Dallas won 127-99. Two nights later, Denver was able to contain Doncic limiting him to 22 points, but he still nearly had a triple-double against with nine rebounds and eight assists.
Dallas is 6-3 SU in the last nine games against Denver. The Mavericks are 4-13 ATS in their last 17 games, but they are 12-6 ATS in the last 18 against the Nuggets. Denver is 4-2 SU and ATS in its last six games. The Under has cashed in six of Denver’s last seven home games and in four of the last six against Dallas.
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