The Dallas Mavericks traded four starters in the past eight days and will have a revamped look when they host the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday. The latest move saw the Mavericks trade second-leading scorer Harrison Barnes to the Sacramento Kings for fellow forwards Justin Jackson and Zach Randolph.
Dallas earlier traded point guard Dennis Smith Jr., shooting guard Wesley Matthews and center DeAndre Jordan to the New York Knicks and that leaves star rookie Luka Doncic as the lone remaining starter. "With this trade now, a lot of things are in play," Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle told reporters. "Everything is going to bump a little here and a little there. I have to let the dust settle and figure out who the hell is going to start." The Bucks have won five straight games to become the first NBA team to reach 40 wins this season and picked up some bench help at the deadline by acquiring forward Nikola Mirotic from the New Orleans Pelicans for forwards Stanley Johnson and Jason Smith and four second-round draft picks. Milwaukee is coming off a 148-129 home win over the Washington Wizards on Wednesday, a contest in which it scored 50 first-quarter points and led 85-65 at halftime en route to its highest-scoring effort of the season.
TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, FS Wisconsin (Milwaukee), FS Southwest (Dallas) LINE: Bucks -8
ABOUT THE BUCKS (40-13): Milwaukee acquired Johnson earlier in the week from the Detroit Pistons and flipped him to New Orleans to land Mirotic, who is averaging 16.7 points and 8.3 rebounds in 32 games this season. Mirotic is an unrestricted free agent after the season but the Bucks are interested in making a long playoff run and the 27-year-old is averaging 2.7 3-pointers per game so he will fit right in with an offense that makes 13.3 per outing. Mirotic missed his final seven games with the Pelicans due to a calf injury and a return date isn't yet set.
ABOUT THE MAVERICKS (25-28): Dallas won its last two games and Tim Hardaway Jr. (12 points in 26 minutes) was the lone contributor - Trey Burke was scoreless in four minutes and Courtney Lee didn't play - among the three guards acquired from New York. Injured forward Kristaps Porzingis was the prize of that trade but he isn't slated to play this season as he continues his recovery from an ACL tear. Doncic was just 5-of-20 shooting in Wednesday's 99-93 win over the visiting Charlotte Hornets but had 19 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds for his third triple-double in the past seven games.
1. F Giannis Antetokounmpo had 31 points and 15 rebounds to lead the Bucks to a 116-106 home win over the Mavericks on Jan. 21.
2. Dallas F Dorian Finney-Smith had 15 points and 10 rebounds against Charlotte for his second career double-double.
3. Antetokounmpo scored 43 points against Washington and is averaging 36.7 points over the past three games.
PREDICTION: Bucks 127, Mavericks 110 Bet Now
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