Tune-In Tidbits: TNT Thursday, April 22, 2021
Get ready for Thursday's TNT doubleheader with five key stats to know about each matchup.
Brian Martin, for NBA.com
76ers (39-19) at Bucks (35-22)
7 p.m. ET, TNT
• Milwaukee won the first meeting with Philadelphia, 109-105 in overtime on March 17, behind Giannis Antetokounmpo’s 32 points, 15 rebounds and 5 assists – one of three 30-15-5 games for Giannis, who is tied with Jokic for most such games in league this season. Giannis left Monday night’s game with a leg cramp, but is expected to play tonight.
• Ben Simmons was primary defender on Giannis for 8:04 and held him to eight points on 2-8 FG, 0-3 3P, 4-6 FT, scored only 25% of his points in 58.6% of matchup time. Giannis had 20 points on 9-12 FG in 4:09 combined matchup time against either Tobias Harris, Dwight Howard or Danny Green (62.5% of points in 30.2% of matchup time).
• Philadelphia was without Joel Embiid in the first meeting with Milwaukee; this season the Sixers are 30-10 with Embiid in the lineup and 9-9 when he is out. Embiid is averaging 30.1 points (3rd in NBA) and 11.3 rebounds (7th in NBA). He is on pace to join Russell Westbrook in 2016-17 as the only players in the last 30 years to average at least 30 points and 10 rebounds for a full season.
• This is a matchup between Milwaukee’s top five offense (116.1 points per 100 possessions, 5th in NBA) and Philadelphia’s top five defense (107.0 points allowed per 100 possessions, 2nd in NBA). The Bucks have the third-highest effective field goal percentage in the league (56.4%), while the Sixers allow the third-lowest eFG% (52.1%).
• The Sixers have the best record (22-8) in games that feature clutch time – score within five points in final five minutes of fourth quarter or overtime. The Sixers have outscored their opponents by 53 points in 116 clutch minutes this season. The Bucks have played in only 21 clutch games (tied for second-fewest in the league) and have a 9-12 record in those games.
Lakers (35-23) at Mavericks (31-26)
9:30 p.m. ET, TNT
• After missing more than two months with a calf injury, Anthony Davis is set to return for the Lakers tonight in his first action since Feb. 14. The Lakers are 17-6 this season with Davis in the lineup and just 18-17 when he’s been sidelined. Davis is averaging 22.5 points and 8.4 rebounds this season, which should help the Lakers’ struggling offense since LeBron James was sidelined (104.0 ppg since March 20, 29th in NBA) even though Davis will be on a minutes restriction tonight.
• The Lakers won the first meeting with the Mavericks, 138-115 on Christmas Day, behind 28 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals from Anthony Davis and 22 points and 10 assists from LeBron James. Luka Doncic had 27 points, 7 assists in the loss. Luka is 1-7 against Lakers for his career, with averages of 22 points, 7.4 rebounds and 7.5 assists, while shooting 40.7% from the field and 30.8% from 3-point range.
• Dennis Schroder was the primary defender on Luka Doncic, guarding him for a team-high 4:29 (35.8% of Luka’s offensive matchup time). Schroder held Luka to two points on 0-4 shooting from the field and 2-2 at the free throw line. Wesley Matthews also allowed only two points to Luka on 1-3 shooting in 2:09 of matchup time. Luka scored the bulk of his points when being defended by either Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (7 points, 3-4 FG in 1:30) or Kyle Kuzma (10 points, 3-3 FG, 2-2 3P, 2-2 FT in 1:07).
• Dallas is coming off a 127-117 win over Detroit on Tuesday and will play on the second night of a back-to-back for the 12th time this season. The Mavs are 4-7 in those games so far this season with an offensive rating of 110.6 (down 3.2 points from their season average) and a defensive rating of 116.7 (4.3 points higher than their season average.