Tuesday, February 20, 2024

NBA Preview: Dallas Mavericks (28-23) at New York Knicks (33-18)

The New York Knicks’ medical staff figures to play a key role in the team’s preparations for Thursday’s contest against the visiting Dallas Mavericks.

New York was monitoring the status of star guard Jalen Brunson (ankle) to see if he will be available. Brunson was listed as questionable to play against his former team on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Julius Randle (shoulder), OG Anunoby (elbow) and Quentin Grimes (knee) will sit out.

New York has dropped its last three meetings against the Mavericks, including a 128-124 loss on Jan. 11 in Dallas. Kyrie Irving scored 44 points to lead the Mavericks.

The Knicks won for the 10th time in 11 games on Tuesday, when Brunson scored 27 points in a 123-113 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies. Brunson exited the game in the fourth quarter with a right ankle sprain, but early reports are optimistic that he avoided a serious injury.

New York improved to 19-6 at home after leading wire-to-wire against Memphis. DiVincenzo scored a game-high 32 points, and Isaiah Hartenstein and Precious Achiuwa added 17 apiece.

The Knicks are 16-3 over their last 19 games despite battling the injury bug. Randle has missed the last five games because of a dislocated shoulder, and Anunoby has been out for the same time period due to elbow inflammation.

New York is also awaiting the return of Grimes, who has missed the last three games with a sprained knee. Hartenstein said the team has reacted well to the recent wave of injuries.

The Knicks continue their six-game homestand with a matchup against a Dallas team seeking its third straight win. Irving scored 36 points and Luka Doncic added 35 points, 18 rebounds and nine assists in the Mavericks’ 119-107 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday.

The game marked Irving’s return to Brooklyn, where he played for the Nets for 3 1/2 seasons before being traded to Dallas. He received a warm reception throughout the contest.

Dallas has proven to be among the league’s best when Irving and Doncic are both available. But the pair has only played together in 24 of the Mavericks’ 51 games.

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