NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, January 8th (All times eastern)
Dallas Mavericks (24-11) at San Antonio Spurs (21-12), 8:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The class of the NBA's Southwest Division meet in the Alamo City Friday as the Dallas Mavericks visit in-state rival San Antonio.
The Mavs, who lead the division by two games over the Spurs, bounced back from an ugly loss to the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers by handing Detroit a 98-93 setback on Tuesday in "Big D." Jason Terry scored 26 points and dished out five assists in that one.
Dirk Nowitzki added 22 points and 12 rebounds for the Mavericks, who were drubbed by the Lakers, 131-96, last Sunday. Shawn Marion went 8-of-8 from the foul line on his way to 18 points while pulling down seven boards for the victors. Drew Gooden added 10 points and a game-high 18 rebounds.
"We definitely didn't get off to a good start, but at home here in the New Year we wanted to make sure we got the win," Terry said. "Whatever it takes to get it done that is what we did tonight. In the second half we stepped and played great Maverick basketball. Tonight we knew we had to guard these guys and hold them to a low field goal percentage, which we did for most of the ball game."
The Spurs, meanwhile, have turned it on recently, winning six of their past seven games.
San Antonio also beat the hapless Pistons in its last outing, a 112-92 decision on Wednesday. Roger Mason capped a string of 11 straight Spurs points to start the final quarter on the way to the victory in that one, which sent Detroit to its 11th straight loss.
Tony Parker had 23 points and six assists for the Spurs, who rebounded from a 91-86 loss at Toronto Sunday. Richard Jefferson tallied 17 points and Manu Ginobili 16 for the Spurs, winners in 12 of their last 15 games. Tim Duncan ended with 14 points and six boards.
DeJuan Blair and Mason each had 10 points for San Antonio, which went 15-of-20 from the field in the last quarter.
"We made some good plays and played some good defense in the fourth quarter," Parker said. "I thought our defense was the best in the fourth and that was the difference in the game. So when you play good defense that translates to fast break opportunities, transition and we made some shots."
The Spurs have gone 12-3 since a pedestrian 9-9 start to close in on Dallas for the division lead. The two teams have split a pair of meetings so far this season with each club holding serve on its home court, but San Antonio was without Parker in both games.
The Mavs are a solid 12-6 as the visitor on the season but have lost two straight in the Alamo City, where the Spurs are a gaudy 15-5 on the season.
01/08 11:02:25 ET