Kristaps Porzingis is expected to play after missing the last 10 games with a right knee injury. Porzingis is averaging 17.3 points and 9.4 rebounds per game this season. The Mavs have gone 6-4 without Porzingis and have won four straight as they welcome the Clippers.
The Clippers will be without Paul George, who has missed the last five games with a strained left hamstring. Los Angeles is still averaging 30 points in the first quarter over the last five games without George in the lineup. The first-quarter Over is 7-3 in the last 10 games for both the Clippers and Mavericks. These teams will get off to a fast start in this one.
PREDICTION: First Quarter Over 60
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Dallas got off to a quick start in its win over the Blazers on Friday, torching Portland for 72 points in the first half. The Mavericks are tied for fourth in the NBA with the Clippers averaging 58.8 points in the opening two frames this season. Dallas is also Bottom-10 in first-half points allowed, giving up an average of 56.5 points in the opening 24 minutes.
Before November’s victory (114-99 win for L.A.), the Clippers had struggled on the road in this series, winning just 35 of their last 46 games at American Airlines Center. The Mavericks are 27-15 ATS in the first half this season but are just 12-11 against those first-half spreads at home compared to 15-4 ATS on the road. Despite those splits, Dallas has the edge at home with one of its best players returning to the lineup.
PREDICTION: Mavericks -0.5 First Half
With George out, someone has to fill the scoring void for the Clippers. That someone is Montrezl Harrell. The 6-foot-8 forward is in contention for the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award and leads the league with nine 25-plus point performances off the bench.
Harrell has scored at least 21 points in three of his last four games and tied his career-high with 34 points against the Knicks earlier this month. Considering Harrell is averaging 19.3 points per game for the entire season, there's strong value in his reasonably-priced point total, especially with George out of the lineup.
PREDICTION: Montrezl Harrell Over 18.5 Points
The Mavericks have been the most profitable Over team in the NBA this season (26-16-0 Over/Under), tied with the Miami Heat. Porzingis returning will only help that continue. Tim Hardaway Jr. is also key contributor to the Dallas offense and scored 29 points on 9-of-16 shooting in the win over Portland on Friday. Hardaway’s scoring success has also equated to success for the Mavericks. Dallas is 7-3 in the 10 games where Hardaway Jr. has scored at least 20 points this season.
The Clippers are also one of the highest-scoring teams in the league, just slightly behind the Mavericks averaging 116.2 points per game. Kawhi Leonard is coming off one of his best scoring games of the season with 39 points on 15-of-28 shooting in Saturday’s road win over New Orleans. Leonard has scored at least 30 points in five straight games. We like both offenses to have success in this matchup.
PREDICTION: Over 233
The Clippers downed the Mavericks 114-99 earlier this season in Dallas, with Leonard and George combining for 54 points, as well as Lou Williams adding 21 points off the bench. Luka Doncic poured in 22 for the Mavericks but missed all eight of his 3-point attempts.
With George sidelined and Doncic red hot from the outside, we think the Mavericks are a stronger matchup against the Clippers this time around. Doncic nailed a career-high eight triples and scored 35 points in Friday’s win over the Blazers. It was the fourth straight victory for Dallas.
Los Angeles may have momentum, winning three straight games, but it is just 2-5 ATS over its last seven. The Mavericks have one extra day of rest and are 7-4 ATS when having a rest advantage over their opponent this season. Dallas is the smarter play at home.
PREDICTION: Mavericks -1.5