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5 Can't-Miss Matchups: Jamal Murray vs. Russell Westbrook

We’re tipping off 2020 with a New Year’s Eve matchup on NBA TV (7 ET, NBA TV) between point guards as Russell Westbrook and the Houston Rockets host Jamal Murray and the Denver Nuggets in a clash between two of the hottest teams in the Western Conference.

Here’s a look at five head-to-head matchups we’ll be watching closely this week:

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1. Jamal Murray vs. Russell Westbrook

Last regular season meeting: Nov. 20, 2019

Westbrook averages a triple-double in this matchup, but the gaudy stats haven’t equated to wins lately for the Rockets’ point guard. In fact, Westbrook has finished on the losing end of this matchup in seven consecutive games, the last defeat coming in a Nov. 20 outing in which he scored 25 points. Additionally, Westbrook hasn’t won a matchup against Murray since Dec. 18, 2017 as a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Nuggets have won nine of their last 10 games after Sunday’s win vs. the Kings and their 23-9 mark ranks as their best start in franchise history through 32 games. Westbrook has scored at least 20 points in 10 straight outings.

Head-to-head stats below are via Basketball Reference.

Jamal Murray 9 4 17.1 4.3 4.4
Russell Westbrook 4 9 25.4 10.2 10.3

2. Spencer Dinwiddie vs. Luka Doncic

Last regular season meeting: March 4, 2019

A Kia MVP favorite (Doncic) and a rising star (Dinwiddie) collide here in just the third meeting of their careers. As of Monday, Doncic has 17 career triple-doubles, which ranks as the most in NBA history for a player under the age of 21. And get this: Doncic won’t turn 21 until Feb. 28. Dinwiddie, meanwhile, didn’t start in the first two matchups against Doncic, but that changes in this upcoming game. When these teams met last March, Doncic shot 6 of 16 for 16 points in a loss. On Saturday, Doncic dropped 31 points to go with 15 assists and 12 rebounds for his league-leading ninth triple-double.

In that win, Doncic became the first player to log 30-plus points, 10-plus rebounds and 15 or more assists in 30 minutes or fewer since the league first started recording minutes in the 1951-52 season, according to Elias Sports Bureau.

Head-to-head stats below are via Basketball Reference.

Spencer Dinwiddie 1 1 17.5 2.0 6.0
Luka Doncic 1 1 18.5 7.5 2.5

3. Jimmy Butler vs. Bradley Beal

Last regular season meeting: Dec. 6, 2019

Beal’s availability for this game could be in question, as he sat out Saturday vs. the Knicks for the first time since Apr. 12, 2017, ending a streak of 194 consecutive games played. Beal missed due to soreness in his right leg, but Wizards coach Scott Brooks said the injury isn’t serious.

Butler has come away with wins in three of his last five games against Beal, producing a 28-point triple-double when the teams last faced off on Dec. 6. If Beal is out, Butler could wind up feasting considering Washington forwards Davis Bertans (quadriceps), Rui Hachimura (groin) and center Moritz Wagner (ankle) are all expected to be out for at least this entire week. Miami enters the week on a five-game winning streak.

Head-to-head stats below are via Basketball Reference.

Jimmy Butler 6 11 14.5 5.7 3.9
Bradley Beal 11 6 17.2 3.0 3.3

4. Devin Booker vs. CJ McCollum

Last regular season meeting: March 9, 2019

McCollum had been on a scoring tear, pouring in 20 points or more in six consecutive outings, before contributing 18 on Saturday in a Blazers loss to the Lakers. McCollum is 9-2 in the matchup against Booker and has won each of the last eight head-to-head clashes, including a 26-point outing on 11-of-14 shooting in a Portland win last March over the Suns.

Booker, meanwhile, helped Phoenix snap a season-high eight-game skid on Saturday with his 32 points and 10 assists in a win over the Kings. The Suns own a record of 11-5 this season when Booker scores 22 points or more.

Head-to-head stats below are via Basketball Reference.

Devin Booker 2 9 23.8 3.3 3.5
C.J. McCollum 9 2 24.6 3.8 4.3

5. Brandon Ingram vs. Anthony Davis

Last regular season meeting: Nov. 27, 2019

A former Laker included in the trade that landed Davis in Los Angeles, Ingram is mounting a serious bid for his first All-Star appearance. He had 27 points to power the Pelicans to their fourth straight win on Sunday and, overall, is averaging career-highs in scoring (25.3 ppg), rebounds (7.0 rpg) and shooting (49.1%). As of Monday, he’s scored at least 20 points in 27 of his 30 games played this season.

Davis is on a roll, too, as this nasty alley-oop illustrates. Davis tweaked his right shoulder on a dunk attempt Saturday against Portland, but played Sunday against the Mavericks. Davis lit up his former squad for 41 points to go with nine boards when the teams last met on Nov. 27, while Ingram logged 10 rebounds – all on the defensive end.

Head-to-head stats below are via Basketball Reference.

Brandon Ingram 3 5 15.9 4.5 3.4
Anthony Davis 5 3 33.5 12.8 2.6

Underrated matchup: Draymond Green vs. LaMarcus Aldridge

Last regular season meeting: Nov. 1, 2019

Their respective teams continue to struggle, but there’s extensive history in this matchup. Green owns the upper hand, having racked up an 11-7 record in the regular season against Aldridge and a record of 8-1 in the playoffs. Green once held Aldridge to eight points in Game 4 of the 2017 Western Conference finals to help the Warriors to their third-straight trip to The Finals. However, times have changed dramatically for both teams.

Aldridge finished last week knocking down a career-high five 3-pointers and is averaging 22 points on 56% shooting from the field and 53% from deep over his last six outings. The Warriors enter the week with a record of 2-13 against teams that are .500 or better, and luckily for them, the Spurs are 13-18. San Antonio won by 17 the last time the teams met in November.

Head-to-head stats below are via Basketball Reference.

Draymond Green 11 7 9.0 6.6 4.7
LaMarcus Aldridge 7 11 21.5 9.9 2.1

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Michael C. Wright is a senior writer for You can e-mail him here , find his archive here and follow him on Twitter .

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