Dallas star guard Luka Doncic is on an early season roll and he looks for another solid outing when the Mavericks host the lowly New York Knicks on Friday. Doncic has three triple-doubles and six 20-point outings while leading Dallas to a strong 5-2 start.
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Doncic recorded 27 points, seven rebounds and seven assists as the Mavericks edged the visiting Orlando Magic 108-107 on Wednesday. "Nothing he does surprises me," Dallas coach Rick Carlisle told reporters. "But he's more into winning than stats, is my feeling about it. He always has been. He has a body of work that proves that if you look back five or six years. That's the important thing." The Knicks own the league's worst record at 1-7 and they suffered their fourth straight setback on Wednesday, when they were routed 122-102 by the host Detroit Pistons. "We have a really high-character group," New York coach David Fizdale told reporters. "It's just a matter of time before they figure each other out and come together."
TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, MSG (New York), FS Southwest (Dallas)
ABOUT THE KNICKS (1-7): Fizdale has won just 20 percent of his game as New York's coach (18-72) and the fans jeered him and serenaded him with "Fire Fizdale" chants at the team's most recent home game. "I don't think about that," Fizdale told reporters. "I was more concerned about our performance from my seat. I can't be caught up with how everybody else was feeling." Rookie guard RJ Barrett has been a bright spot with a 17.9 average and he has scored 15 or more points in seven of the team's eight games after a 15-point effort in the loss to Detroit.
ABOUT THE MAVERICKS (5-2): While Doncic was again thriving in the win over Orlando, running mate Kristaps Porzingis struggled and matched his season low of 10 points on 4-of-14 shooting. Porzingis is averaging just 13.5 points over the last four contests after averaging 26.3 over the first three outings. Reserve guard Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 13 against the Magic and reached double digits in five consecutive games while going 10-of-21 from 3-point range over the past four contests.
1. The Knicks won their past two visits to Dallas after losing 17 of the previous 20.
2. Mavericks reserve G J.J. Barea scored 11 points in 16 minutes in his season debut.
3. New York C Mitchell Robinson (concussion) departed Wednesday's contest and figures to sit out at least one game.
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Key Players to Watch
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- IllnessQues Wed | questionable
Curry is ailing from an illness, and it is uncertain if he will be available against the Warriors on Wednesday.
- PersonalProb Tues | probable
Smith Jr. is away from the team due to a death in the family. It is projected that he will rejoin the lineup for Tuesday's contest against the Bulls.
- RestOut Sat | out
Porzingis will not suit up against the Grizzlies on Saturday as he will be given the day to rest.
- KneeProb Wed | probable
Kleber sat out the last game with a right knee contusion, but he is expected to line up against the Magic on Wednesday.
New York Knicks
- HamstringEarly Dec | out
Payton is not expected to return to the lineup until at least the early part of December due to a right hamstring strain.
- ThumbProb Wed | probable
Barrett is expected to face the 76ers on Wednesday despite a left thumb sprain.
- AnkleProb Mon | probable
Robinson has a right ankle sprain, but he is expected to suit up Monday versus the Cavaliers.
- NeckEarly Dec | out
Bullock is recovering from surgery for a cervical disc herniation and is expected to be out of action until at least the start of December.
- QuadricepProb Sat | probable
Barrett is expected to suit up against the Hornets on Saturday despite a right quadriceps contusion.
- FootProb Sat | probable
Gibson is tending to plantar fascia in his left foot but is likely to play against the Hornets on Saturday.
- AbdominalProb Sat | probable
Ntilikina is dealing with a sore left abdomen and a groin injury but is projected to be available for Saturday's matchup versus the Hornets.
- ConcussionProb Thurs | probable
Robinson has missed the previous three games with a concussion, but he is expected to be cleared in time for Thursday's matchup against the Mavericks.