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TNT Game Previews: The Luka Show against the Celtics and Jokic vs. the Clippers

Houston Rockets v Dallas Mavericks Photo by Tim Heitman/Getty Images

Tonight’s TNT matchups might feature the league’s top two MVP candidates. Per Draft Kings current odds, Luka Doncic leads the pack a +275. Nikola Jokic, meanwhile, is currently sitting at +425 and trails behind Doncic, Giannis and Tatum. However, if you’ve been watching the games closely, the two-time reigning MVP is coming on strong and people are now starting to wonder about the possibility of a 3-peat.

Tonight, the TNT crew is serving up the best 8 p.m. matchup we’ve had in quite a while as Luka takes on the aforementioned Jayson Tatum and the Boston Celtics. Boston, despite two losses in a row including an absolute shellacking by the OKC Thunder that saw them give up 150 points, is No. 1 in the Eastern Conference. Dallas is No. 4 in the West, but is also playing its best ball of the season and has won seven games in a row.

The night cap is decidedly less exciting, if only because the Los Angeles Clippers refuse to be anything but a sad mix of intriguing and disappointing. The Clips have lost three straight, and this being the first game of a back-to-back might be without both Kawhi Leonard (dealing with a non-Covid illness) and Paul George (tweaked his hamstring in Monday’s loss to the Heat). The Clippers without their two stars on national TV? Where have I seen that before?

Denver is the top team in the Western Conference and has won 10 of its past 13 games. In that 13-game stretch, Jokic is averaging a triple double. That’s 29.8 points, 12.1 rebounds and 10.6 assists. And he’s doing it while shooting almost 60% overall and 40% from three. The dude is a monster.

Boston Celtics vs. Dallas Mavericks

Game Vitals

When: 7:30 p.m. ET
Where: American Airlines Arena, Dallas, Texas
Watch: TNT
Odds: Mavericks +3

Projected Lineups

Boston Celtics (26-12)

Marcus Smart, Derrick White, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, Al Horford

Dallas Mavericks (22-16)

Luka Doncic, Spencer Dinwiddie, Tim Hardaway, Reggie Bullock, Christian Wood

Los Angeles Clippers vs. Denver Nuggets

Game Vitals

When: 10 p.m. ET
Where: Ball Arena, Denver, Colorado
Watch: TNT
Odds: Clippers +6

Projected Lineups

Los Angeles Clippers (21-18)

Reggie Jackson, Paul George(?), Kawhi Leonard(?), Marcus Morris, Ivica Zubac

Denver Nuggets (18-11)

Jamal Murray, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Michael Porter, Aaron Gordon, Nikola Jokic

DraftKings Odds

Per DraftKings, You can currently get Jayson Tatum as the leading scorer of the Mavs-Celtics game at +215, which makes sense when he’s going against Luka on national TV, but it is also pretty enticing. You can also get a single game parlay of the Celtics moneyline, Jayson Tatum at 30 points and Jaylen Brown at 20 points for +185. Even with Dallas’ seven-game win streak, they are still a subpar defense over that span. It seems like the Celtics will get their points even if they don’t pull off the upset.

Check out DraftKings Sportsbook, the official sportsbook partner of SB Nation.