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NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, December 23rd (All times Eastern)
Dallas Mavericks (12-15) at San Antonio Spurs (20-8), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The San Antonio Spurs will try to win consecutive games for the first time in nearly two weeks when they welcome the rival Dallas Mavericks for Sunday's battle at the AT&T Center.
The Spurs have a strong 20-8 record on the season but had lost four of five tilts heading into Friday's 99-94 victory over New Orleans. Another win on Sunday would give San Antonio back-to-back triumphs for the first time since a five-game winning streak from Dec. 1-10.
Tony Parker netted a game-high 25 points and handed out five assists to help lead the Spurs past the Hornets on Friday. Parker has contributed 20 points or more in eight of his last 11 games and is leading San Antonio with 19.0 ppg.
"Tony's had a great year," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "He has stepped up late in games for us and done a great job."
Tim Duncan added 15 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, while Manu Ginobili added 13 points and seven assists for the Spurs. Boris Diaw contributed 12 points, five rebounds and three assists in the victory.
Friday's tilt marked the start of a four-game homestand for the Spurs, who are 9-2 as the host this season. San Antonio will continue its residency Wednesday against Toronto before closing the homestand the following night against Houston.
The Mavericks, who have played the entire season so far without superstar Dirk Nowitzki, enters Sunday's contest having dropped two straight and five of their last six games.
Dallas suffered a 92-82 loss in Memphis on Friday night as it failed to begin a three-game road trip on a positive note. Rudy Gay had 26 points, five rebounds and four steals to lead the Grizzlies.
Shawn Marion ended with 14 points and 11 boards for the Mavericks, while Vince Carter also had 14 points. The loss came one night after a 110-95 home defeat against the Miami Heat.
"We were undermanned, coming off of a late-night back-to-back," Dallas head coach Rick Carlisle said. "The guys really hung in and gave what they could give."
In addition to Nowitzki, the Mavericks played Friday without forward Elton Brand (groin) and guards Darren Collison (illness) and Derek Fisher (knee). Collison is expected to be back on Sunday, while Fisher was waived on Saturday. The 38-year-old Fisher made the request to be waived himself so that he could spend more time with his family.
Brand is questionable for Sunday's contest.
Dallas is 4-11 as the road club this season and will try to halt a four-game skid as the guest.
San Antonio has won five of its last seven games against the Mavs. Dallas has lost three in a row and five of seven at the AT&T Center.
12/23 10:32:48 ET
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