DALLAS MAVERICKS (37-26) vs INDIANA PACERS- March 9 at 7:30 p.m. ET at American Airlines Center
The Dallas Mavericks will look to sweep the season series with the East-leading Indiana Pacers on March 9 at the AAC. Game starts at 7:30 p.m. ET and can be seen on Fox Sports Southwest with Mark Followill and Derek Harper.
Dallas is coming off a Jekyll-Hyde game with the Blazers on March 7, in which it led by 30 points in the second quarter, only to come back in the fourth and finish the game on an 11-0 run. The win snapped a season-long three-game losing streak.
The Mavericks remained in the 8th spot in the West, down in percentage points to the Phoenix Suns, who play a crucial game with the Golden State Warriors. The Mavs and Suns are two games back of the Warriors for 6th.
Indiana has led the East for most of the season, but Miami is hot on its trail. The Pacers lead the Heat by 1.5 games. The East remains a two-team race, as the Raptors are 3rd at a whopping 11 games back.
The Pacers, who are struggling at the moment, have lost a season-long three games straight. The last two losses have been by 20 or more points. Indiana fell to the Rockets 112-86 on March 7 and lost to Charlotte 109-87 on March 5.
Milestone Watch: Dirk Nowitzki needs 27 points to pass John Havlicek for 12th all time in career scoring. He has a chance to do so in this game, but if he falls short, his next go-at-it will be on March 11 at Golden State.
Defensive Battle: The Mavericks defeated the Pacers 81-73 back on Feb. 12 despite their second-lowest scoring output. They held the Pacers to their lowest mark of the season, and it was also the lowest point total for a Mavericks’ opponent. Dallas shot 35.7 percent while holding Indy to 32 percent. Both teams went a combine 12-of-43 from downtown (28 percent). The Mavs finished with seven steals and 10 blocks and forced 16 turnovers. The Pacers were up two after three quarters before Dallas outscored Indy 21-11 in the fourth. Monta Ellis led the Mavericks with 23 points, nine rebounds, six dimes and two blocks while shooting 9-of-10 from the charity stripe. Nowitzki added 18 points and six boards. George Hill led the Pacers with 14 points while Paul George added 12. Prior to this match up, Indiana was 31-0 when holding its opponents to 92 points or less.
Contributing Off The Bench: Devin Harris has been fantastic for the Mavericks’ bench. In his last two games, Harris is averaging seven points and six assists. He had 11 dimes and four boards in 18 minutes against Denver on March 5. Harris scored 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting in 23 minutes against the Blazers. Jae Crowder is getting significant minutes in his last two games and making the most of it. Against Denver and Portland he’s combined for 16 points and six rebounds in 28 minutes. Crowder shot a season-high 6-of-7 from the line against Portland. In seven games since coming over from Philly, Evan Turner is averaging 10 points on 44 percent shooting, 3.6 rebounds, two assists in 22.6 minutes off the Pacers’ bench. He had 22 points and five assists versus the Bobcats.