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6:00 PM PT7:00 PM MT8:00 PM CT9:00 PM ET2:00 GMT10:00 7:00 PM MST9:00 PM EST6:00 UAE (+1)03:0021:00 ET8:00 PM CT0:00 , December 12, 2019
Mexico City Arena, Mexico City,   Attendance: 20,064

Pistons, Mavs tip off NBA's visit to Mexico

According to STATS
According to STATS

Dallas Mavericks at Detroit Pistons

  1. The Mavericks have lost three straight trips to Detroit, all of them by seven points or fewer. Prior to that streak, Dallas had won five straight road games against the Pistons.
  2. Dallas has won eight of its first 10 road games for just the third time in franchise history (8-2 in 2002-03, 9-1 in 2010-11). The Mavericks lead the NBA in points per game on the road (119.9), the most by any team through 10 road games since 1990-91 (Nuggets: 130.0 and Suns: 120.2).
  3. Detroit has won four of its last five games after going 2-8 in its previous 10. The Pistons have made more three-pointers than their opponents in each of their last seven wins, but they are just 1-7 when they have the same or fewer threes than their opponents.
  4. Luka Doncic needed 24 shots to score 27 points in Sunday's loss to the Kings. The Mavericks are just 6-6 this season when Doncic takes 20+ field goals, compared to 10-1 when he takes 19 or fewer.
  5. Derrick Rose hit a buzzer-beater from the paint to beat the Pelicans on Monday, his second game-winner in the final second over the last two seasons after he had just one in his first nine seasons.
  6. Blake Griffin went just 1-for-9 from the floor on Monday, tying his career low for made baskets in a game. It was just the second time in Griffin's career that he has played 30+ minutes and been held to five points or fewer; the other was also against the Pelicans on November 26, 2012 (four points).

Two teams venture south of the border expecting to have an enjoyable experience, but only one will return a winner when the Dallas Mavericks and Detroit Pistons square off in Mexico City on Thursday night.

The Mavericks have had three days off since their last game while the Pistons have enjoyed two, allowing both teams to turn their attention to the site of the game rather than the NBA standings as the league prepares for its 12th-ever regular-season game in the Mexican capital.

The San Antonio Spurs and Phoenix Suns will make it 13 when they clash Saturday night at Mexico City Arena.

"I think it's great that we do this," Mavericks guard J.J. Barea, one of his club's Spanish-speaking players, said earlier this week. "I've been there a bunch of times with the Puerto Rico national team and with the NBA, and every time we go, it's a great time.

"The people are great. The fans love basketball, love the NBA. So I think it's important we go down there and do a good job."

The Mavericks were doing great north of the border until seeing a five-game winning streak come to an end with a home loss to the Sacramento Kings on Sunday.

Dallas and the Houston Rockets were the first NBA teams to play a regular-season game in Mexico City in December 1997. The Mavericks lost that game to their Southwest Division rival.

The Mavericks returned to pick up a win over Phoenix in January 2017.

The Pistons, meanwhile, have never played a regular-season game in Mexico, but they did travel to London to face the New York Knicks and take a 102-87 loss in January 2013.

Despite being at a geographical disadvantage, Detroit has been designated as the home team in the international affair.

Make no mistake, Detroit vice chairman Arn Tellem boasted this week, the Pistons are proud to be invited.

"It's a great association with us and our neighboring country, and to me, a feel-good opportunity for the Pistons, using sports to bring two countries together -- especially in the times we're living in -- it's more important than ever," he said. "It's a very important market where they love basketball."

Mexican basketball fans will get an opportunity to see two of the NBA's marquee talents.

Mavericks guard Luka Doncic, who speaks fluent Spanish after having spent time playing for Real Madrid, rates as an early candidate for NBA Most Valuable Player after having scored 20 or more points in each of his past 19 games. He ranks among the league leaders with averages of 30 points and 9.2 assists per game.

Pistons forward Blake Griffin, meanwhile, is averaging 18.2 points in 12 games since returning from season-opening hamstring and knee issues.

Griffin was held to five points in Detroit's most recent outing, but Derrick Rose produced a 105-103 win at New Orleans with a buzzer-beating 14-footer that capped a 21-point night.

The meeting will be the first of the season between the Mavericks and Pistons. Their past three matchups -- all won by the home team -- have been decided by a total of 16 points, one game in overtime.

--Field Level Media

Updated December 11, 2019

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