Friday, April 12, 2024
Sports Gaming Monitor

NBA Preview: Dallas Mavericks (24-20) at Atlanta Hawks (18-26)

The Dallas Mavericks hit the road to face the Atlanta Hawks on Friday in a matchup in which each team is on a three-game losing streak and could be missing one of its star players.

Dallas could be without Kyrie Irving, while Atlanta might be missing Trae Young.

Irving, who averages 25.2 points, 5.3 assists and 5.1 rebounds for the Mavericks, sprained his right thumb in a loss to the Boston Celtics on Monday. He did not play in Wednesday’s 132-109 home loss to the Phoenix Suns.

Young, who leads the Hawks in scoring at 26.9 points and assists at 10.8, was placed in concussion protocol after a game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday and missed the next two contests. Young also missed a Jan. 19 game with an illness.

If Young can’t play, it will erase another chance to compete against Dallas star Luka Doncic. The two players have been forever linked since the 2018 NBA draft. The Hawks took Doncic with the third overall pick, but immediately traded him to the Mavericks in exchange for the fifth pick, which they used to select Young, and another first-round pick.

Both players have been at their best when facing each other. Young is averaging 20.2 points and 9.9 assists in 10 games against Dallas. Doncic is averaging 23.5 points, 8.6 rebounds and 8.1 assists in eight games against Atlanta.

Friday’s game is the first meeting between the teams this season. The Hawks won both contests last season and have a two-game winning streak against the Mavericks at Atlanta.

In Wednesday’s loss to the Suns, the Mavericks were outscored 43-20 in the third quarter and were whistled for four technical fouls in the game, leading to the ejection of Grant Williams. Three of the technicals were called in the third quarter.

Doncic had 34 points, eight rebounds and nine assists in the loss.

The Hawks were thrashed 134-112 on Wednesday by the emotional Golden State Warriors, who were playing for the first time since assistant coach Dejan Milojevic died of a heart attack last week.

Atlanta’s Dejounte Murray had 23 points, seven assists and seven rebounds in the loss. He is averaging a career-high 21.4 points and shooting a career-best 46.8 from the field, while also shooting 38.7 percent on 3-point attempts.

It has been difficult for the Hawks to replace Young’s offensive production. On Wednesday, they received 13 points from veteran Patty Mills, but Garrison Mathews went 1 for 7 from the floor and 0 of 6 from 3-point range off the bench. Trent Forrest took just one shot in 15 minutes off the bench.

The Hawks continue to be without De’Andre Hunter, who has missed 17 games with right knee inflammation. Backups Bruno Fernando (lower back spasms) and Wesley Matthews (right calf) also have been out. The Mavs have been without backup Dwight Powell for two games because of a left eye abrasion.

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