Wednesday, March 29, 2023
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NBA Preview: Indiana Pacers (27-35) at Dallas Mavericks (32-30)

On Tuesday, the Dallas Mavericks will continue their six-game homestand by hosting the Indiana Pacers on the second day of a four-game road trip. They will be looking to get back on track.

On Sunday, Dallas lost the second game of its home stretch, falling 111-108 to the Los Angeles Lakers despite having a lead of up to 27 points.

Dallas looks to overcome the growing pains brought on by roster changes in the final weeks of the regular season, most notably the addition of Kyrie Irving as part of a trade that brought Dorian Finney-Smith and Spencer Dinwiddie to Brooklyn.

The Mavericks have lost four of their last five games since Irving joined the team, despite winning their first two. They had lost three straight before the All-Star break, but they bounced back with a rout of the San Antonio Spurs, who were in last place, on Thursday and then fell short against the Lakers.

During the slide, there hasn’t been a consistent scoring option to go along with Irving and Luka Doncic, who is tied with Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid for the NBA scoring lead with 33.1 points per game. With the exception of Doncic and Irving, none of the Mavericks’ three starters scored more than six points in Sunday’s defeat, making it the second time in their last four contests.

In contrast, Indiana enters Dallas having won its second game in three attempts, the team’s best run since losing 16 of 18 games from January 11 to February 13.

Ten of those 18 games were played without point guard Tyrese Haliburton for the Pacers.

Haliburton has recorded consecutive double-doubles since the All-Star break, posting 22 points, 14 assists, and three steals in an overtime loss to Boston on Wednesday. His 10.2 assists per game ranks second in the NBA. He added 15 points and 14 assists in Indiana’s 121-108 victory over Orlando on Saturday to kick off the road trip.

The offensive chemistry between Haliburton and big man Myles Turner, who scored a game-high 24 points in Saturday’s victory, was praised by Pacers coach Rick Carlisle.

Turner is scoring 18.1 points per game, more than 3.5 more than his career high for the season. He is shooting 54.5 percent from the floor and 40.2% from 3-point range, both career highs.

His career-high of 40 points against Boston was followed by his 24 points on Saturday.

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