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High-Powered Battle of Backcourts as Wizards Meet Mavericks

The Washington Wizards try to extend a two-game winning streak when they visit the Dallas Mavericks in a key contest for both teams on Saturday night. The game is scheduled to tip off at 9 p.m/ ET at American Airlines Center in Dallas.

The Wizards have won 12 of their last 14 to improve to 29-34. Washington enters in 10th place in the Eastern Conference, a half-game behind the Indiana Pacers for ninth place. The teams in seventh through 10th place in each conference will be part of play-in tournaments this season.

Russell Westbrook passes around Nicolo Melli Washington Wizards at Dallas Mavericks Prediction
Rob Carr/Getty Images/AFP

The Mavericks are trying to avoid the Western Conference’s play-in tournament, as they are in sixth place in the conference standings, just a half-game ahead of seventh-place Portland. Dallas is 35-27 after winning two straight and is a half-game behind the Los Angeles Lakers for fifth in the standings.

The Mavericks are five-point favorites, according to the NBA odds. The over/under has been set at 232½ points, let’s check the latest NBA news, stats, injury report, and NBA lines for Wizards vs Mavericks. We’ve got plenty of NBA picks for you to consider.

Dangerous Duo

The Wizards are led by the backcourt tandem of Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal, both of whom are having fantastic seasons. Westbrook had his 31st triple-double in a win over Cleveland, while Beal is second in the NBA in scoring, trailing only Golden State’s Stephen Curry.

Beal is averaging a career-best 31.1 points per game, hitting 34.9% from 3-point range while also averaging 4.7 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game. Beal missed the Wizards’ first meeting with Dallas this season, a 109-87 Dallas victory in early April.

Westbrook has been reborn in his first season in Washington, averaging 21.6 points, 11.2 rebounds, and 11.0 assists per game. The 32-year-old is leading the NBA in assists per game while ranking seventh in the league in rebounding.

Forward Rui Hachimura is averaging 13.4 points and 5.6 rebounds per game as the team’s third-leading scorer. He’ll need to take on a bigger role if the Wizards are going to advance to the playoffs.

Dominant Doncic

While the Wizards have a pair of standout guards, Dallas has just one, but he’s still pretty darn good. Luka Doncic is averaging 28.6 points per game to rank third in the league behind Beal and 8.7 assists to rank third in the league behind Westbrook and Atlanta’s Trae Young.

The 22-year-old also leads the Mavericks with 7.9 rebounds and 1.0 steals per game. Now, with second-leading scorer Kristaps Porzingis sidelined with soreness in the knee that he had surgery on last October, it may be up to Doncic to produce even more for Dallas to keep its current pace, which has seen it win four of its last five.

More production out of guard Tim Hardaway Jr. like Thursday night would certainly help. Hardaway had a career-high 42 points in a win over Detroit as Doncic sat out due to a left elbow issue that isn’t supposed to keep him out of Saturday’s contest.

Hardaway is averaging 16.0 points per game as the team’s third-leading scorer. The Mavericks will need more from him if Porzingis’ knee trouble lingers.

Wizards Get Win

Dallas is playing shorthanded and will be facing the Wizards with both of their backcourt stars playing well. Trying to slow down Beal and Westbrook has been a futile task of late, and Dallas doesn’t have its full firepower to keep up.

Doncic can only do so much, and he’ll be the focus of the Washington defense the entire game. This one should be a high-scoring affair, and we like the Wizards to come out on top.

When doing your NBA betting, take Washington to win this one outright.

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