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NBA Preview from The Sports Network

Thursday, April 7th (All times eastern)

San Antonio Spurs (55-19) at Dallas Mavericks (50-24), 8 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The two top teams in the Southwest Division go head-to-head this evening, when the Dallas Mavericks take on the San Antonio Spurs at AmericanAirlines Center.

The Spurs have won all three meetings between these rivals this season and four straight overall. San Antonio posted a 107-89 win over the Mavericks at AmericanAirlines Center on Nov. 30, but the teams have split the last 12 meetings at Dallas.

San Antonio sits second in the West, two games behind first place Phoenix and five contests in front of fourth place Dallas. The Spurs can trim their magic number for locking up the Southwest Division title to just one with a victory tonight.

The Spurs have won two straight and eight of their last 12 games, including a 91-82 win over the Los Angeles Clippers at the SBC Center on Wednesday night. Manu Ginobili scored 12 of his 16 points in the second half to lead the Spurs to the win. Brent Barry buried 4-of-5 three-point attempts in a 12-point effort off the bench to help the Spurs post their fifth win in six games.

Tony Parker chipped in 11 points for San Antonio, which won't likely get star forward Tim Duncan (sprained ankle) back until the first round of the postseason. Newly-acquired Glenn Robinson had seven points in 13 minutes for the Spurs, while Beno Udrih and Bruce Bowen tacked on 10 points apiece.

San Antonio shot 44 percent from the field, including 10-of-22 (.455) from three-point range. The Spurs hit just 15-of-23 (.652) from the free throw line and committed 17 turnovers, but still survived with the win.

The Spurs, who are opening up a three-game road trip tonight, are 19-16 in foreign buildings this season. San Antonio has lost seven of 10 and eight of its last 14 road games.

Dallas has been hot as of late, winning five of six, nine of 11 and 11 of its last 14 games. The Mavs continued their hot streak on Tuesday night, tallying a 114-105 victory over the Orlando Magic at home. Dirk Nowitzki delivered 21 points and nine rebounds to lead the Mavs to the win. Nowitzki, who has a tweaked back and right ankle injury, is expected to play tonight.

Jason Terry posted 18 points and dished out a game-high 13 assists for the Mavericks, who have already clinched a playoff berth. Jerry Stackhouse added 17 points in the win, while center Erick Dampier chipped in 16 points in his return to the starting lineup.

Both teams shot 53 percent from the floor - Dallas finished 41-of-78 while the Magic ended 42-of-79. The Mavs hit 9-of-20 (.450) from three-point range, while hitting 23-of-27 (.852) from the free throw line. Dallas outrebounded the Magic, 40-35.

The Mavs, who are in the middle of a four-game homestand, are 25-12 in their friendly confines this season. Dallas has won seven of nine and eight of its last 11 home games.

04/07 10:11:28 ET

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