Following a tough loss in Minnesota on Sunday night, the Mavericks look to bounce back as the Spurs come to town to face off for the third time this season.
For the Spurs, they’ll be getting back their superstar player in Kawhi Leonard, who is scheduled to make his season debut following recovering from right quadriceps tendinopathy. His replacement for most of the season, Kyle Anderson, will miss Tuesday’s game with a left MCL sprain.
On the other hand, the Mavs will be without rookie guard Dennis Smith Jr, who is dealing with a left hip strain. Rick Carlisle said Monday that DSJ is currently being evaluated by the Mavs team physician.
In the two prior meetings this season, Dallas has competed well against the Spurs but LaMarcus Aldridge proved to be too much for the Mavericks, scoring 30-plus points in both contests. With Leonard back in the lineup but on a possible minutes restriction, the Mavericks must make defending Aldridge a top priority.
As Kawhi Leonard is expected to make his debut, all eyes will be on Harrison Barnes on both sides of the floor. Averaging 14.5 points per game in the two previous match-ups, Barnes will need to find a groove on offense for Dallas regardless if the former NBA Defensive Player of the Year is across from him.
While DSJ sits out his third consecutive game, Yogi Ferrell and J.J. Barea will have to continue their offensive spark as Mavs fans are accustomed to seeing off the bench this season.
Following tonight’s game, the two teams will face off for the fourth and final time on Saturday in San Antonio.
Tip-off is at 7:30 at the American Airlines Center. Go Mavs!
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