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
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
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