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NBA League Pass Games to Watch: Week 13

Plan for the week in hoops ahead with the best game each night available exclusively on NBA League Pass.

Brian Martin, for NBA.com

Luka Doncic and the Mavericks led the Clippers by an NBA-record 50 points in their first meeting on Dec. 27.

(Note: All records and statistics are through games played on Sunday, March 14.)

Monday, March 15

LA Clippers (25-5) at Dallas (20-17)
9 p.m. ET, NBA League Pass

We’ve had this matchup circled on the League Pass calendar since the second half of the season schedule was released. Here’s what we wrote then: This is a rematch of last year’s first-round playoff matchup, which the Clippers won, 4-2. The Mavericks won the first meeting with the Clippers this season in spectacular fashion as they led by an NBA-record 50 points at the half and finished with a 124-73 win for their first victory of the season on December 27. Both teams were missing a key player in the first meeting: Kawhi Leonard for LA and Kristaps Porzingis for Dallas.

Tuesday, March 16

New York (20-19) at Philadelphia (27-12)
8 p.m. ET, NBA League Pass

The Sixers enter Week 13 riding a five-game win streak (tied with Atlanta for the longest active streak in the league) and holding onto first place in the Eastern Conference (with Brooklyn just one game back). The Sixers climbed to second in this week’s NBA.com Power Rankings despite losing Joel Embiid for the next few weeks due to a bone bruise. The Sixers blew out the Spurs in their first game since the MVP candidate’s injury, but have gone just 3-5 this season without Embiid in the lineup. The Knicks enter this week ranked seventh in the East as they try to climb out of the Play-In Tournament field (7-10).

Wednesday, March 17

Miami (21-18) at Memphis (17-18)
9 p.m. ET, NBA League Pass

Here comes the Heat. The defending Eastern Conference champs have won 10 of their last 11 games to climb from 11th to fourth place in the East as they enter Week 13. Jimmy Butler has averaged 25 points, 9.1 assists, 6.8 rebounds and 2.6 steals while appearing in nine of the Heat’s last 11 games. Can Miami keep this momentum going against a Grizzlies squad looking to get back on track after dropping three of their last four games by a combined eight points?

Thursday, March 18

New Orleans (17-22) at Portland (22-16)
10 p.m. ET, NBA League Pass

As we get deeper into the season schedule, the Play-In Tournament looms large for teams sitting in that No. 5 to No. 12 range in the standings – currently those eight teams are separated by just 5.5 games. There’s a team like Portland, which enters Week 13 in sixth place in the West, and is looking to stay above the No. 7 spot in order to avoid the Play-In Tournament to qualify for the playoffs. Then there’s a team like New Orleans, which enters Week 13 in 11th place in the West, and is looking to climb into the No. 7-10 range in order to qualify for the Play-In and keep their playoff hopes alive.

Friday, March 19

Minnesota (9-30) at Phoenix (25-12)
10 p.m. ET, NBA League Pass

Chris Paul needs 30 assists to become the sixth player to reach 10,000 career assists. He had 15 against Minnesota on Feb. 28.

Chris Paul enters Week 13 needing 30 assist to become the sixth player in NBA history to reach the 10,000 career assists milestone – joining John Stockton, Jason Kidd, Steve Nash, Mark Jackson and Magic Johnson in the exclusive club. Paul could reach 10K as early as this game against Minnesota, which will Phoenix’s third game of the week. Paul currently ranks fifth the league at 8.8 assists per game, so in order to reach 10K in three games he would need to outperform his season average a little bit. He does have 14 double-digit assist games already this season, including a 15-assist game against Minnesota on Feb. 28.

Saturday, March 20

Atlanta (19-20) at Los Angeles Lakers (25-13)
3:30 p.m. ET, NBA League Pass

The Hawks enter Week 13 tied with Philadelphia for the longest active win streak in the league at five in a row – all under new head coach Nate McMillan – to climb to eighth place in the Eastern Conference and within one win of matching last season’s total (20-47). This game in Los Angeles begins an eight-game road trip for the Hawks that may go a long way to determining their playoff or Play-In fate. The Lakers have won three straight against the Hawks and eight of the last nine games in the all-time series dating back to November 2016. Keep an eye on Dennis Schroder, who spent the first five seasons of his career with Atlanta, who has averaged 19 points, 6.3 assists and shot 50% form the field and 56% from 3-point range in four career games against his former team.

Sunday, March 21

Dallas (20-17) at Portland (22-16)
10 p.m. ET, NBA League Pass

Another matchup we circled on the League Pass calendar earlier this year as it features two of the top scorers in the NBA in Damian Lillard (who enters Week 13 ranked second in the league in scoring at 29.9 ppg) and Luka Doncic (who ranks sixth at 28.2 ppg). Both players know how to deliver when the game is on the line. In the final minute of a one possession game (ahead or behind by three points or less), Lillard is 7-11 from the field, 3-5 from 3-point range and 12-12 from the free throw line; Doncic is 5-9 from the field, 2-5 from 3-point range and has four assists in those situations. In their first meeting of the season on Feb. 14, Lillard scored 34 points — including a step-back three with 32 seconds left to break a tie and put the Blazers up for good – despite Luka scoring 44 points.

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