Game: Minnesota Timberwolves @ Dallas Mavericks
Time: 8:30 p.m.
Odds: Timberwolves +7.5, Mavericks -7.5
If their first game together was any indication, Dallas stars Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving won’t take long to get into a routine if their first game together is any sign of what’s to come. The duo will be back on the court Monday when the Mavericks host the Minnesota Timberwolves, a team that also made roster changes last week.
Dallas’ three-game winning streak came to an end on Saturday after a loss to the Sacramento Kings in overtime, 133-128. Irving recorded 28 points and seven assists in his second game after being acquired from the Brooklyn Nets. Irving played in back-to-back games in Sacramento to start his Mavericks career before making his home debut tonight.
Doncic scored 27 points and pulled down nine rebounds in the defeat on Saturday after returning from a four-game absence due to a heel injury. Mavs head coach Jason Kidd was excited to see his two stars on the court together. Kidd has also been excited to see C JaVale McGee get more playing time. Over the last two games, McGee is averaging 9.5 points and 6.0 rebounds, seeing more floor time as a result of Irving’s presence. Kidd claimed that McGee and Irving make the ideal pick-and-roll teammates.
Mavs guard Tim Hardaway Jr. missed the second half of Saturday’s game due to right hamstring soreness. He is listed as questionable for tonight. Hardaway is averaging 13.7 points per game this season.
This is the first time the Mavericks and the TWolves have faced off since they split back-to-back games in Minnesota in mid-December. In their last 30 meetings with the Timberwolves in Dallas, the Mavericks have won five straight and 22 of the 30 games.
In 12 career games against Minnesota, Doncic is averaging 22.2 points, which is his lowest scoring average against any team. The Wolves are counting on newly acquired point guard Mike Conley to jumpstart their offense.
After falling to the Memphis Grizzlies 128-107 on Friday, Minnesota is wrapping up a four-game road trip. At the trade deadline, the TWolves traded for Conley, who finished the game with nine points on 3-of-7 shooting.
Conley and Wolves center Rudy Gobert were reunited by last week’s trade after spending the previous three seasons playing together in Utah. Conley’s arrival, according to Minnesota coach Chris Finch, may help Gobert right away.
Without star Karl-Anthony Towns, who has been sidelined for more than two months with a calf injury, Minnesota has struggled. The TWolves are hopeful that Conley’s experience will add some much-needed consistency to both ends of the floor.
Minnesota is just 5-10 SU in its last 15 games overall. The TWolves have averaged 122 points per game over their last five, but they are just 2-3 SU and ATS. All five game totals have gone Over. Minnesota averages 115.7 points per game, which ranks 10th in the NBA.
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