The Dallas Mavericks (30-33) are on a four-game winning streak and face their toughest test as they finish their four-game road trip against the San Antonio Spurs (49-16). In addition to the four-game winning streak, Dallas has won five of their last six games (Dallas is 5-1 in the month of March). The four consecutive wins matches Dallas’ high win streak for the season (also won 4 straight at Sacramento on Jan. 10 through their game against Houston on Jan. 16). Dallas is three games below .500, the closest they’ve been to .500 since Dec. 21 when they were 12-15.
With the victory at Milwaukee, the Mavericks improved to 3-0 on their four-game road trip. Dallas won three consecutive road games for the first time since last season (Feb. 8 through Feb. 17). The Mavericks have not won four straight on the road since the 2010-11 season (Mar. 16 through Mar. 30 of 2011).
The Mavericks will have to go for their fourth straight road win without the services of Shawn Marion. Rick Carlisle told reporters that Marion will once again sit out due to his left calf contusion. He has missed the team’s past three games due to the injury. As for the Spurs, San Antonio will be without the services of Tony Parker as he continues to recover from a grade 2 ankle sprain. With coach Gregg Popovich in control, it’s impossible to predict if any other Spurs will miss the game in part to being given the night off. It’s safe for the Mavericks to assume everyone else other than Parker will be ready to go.
Here are the notes for the game between the Mavericks and the Spurs.
The Spurs have won four straight and eight of the last 10 meetings with the Mavericks. The Spurs will look to sweep the 2012-13 season series with a victory at San Antonio. The Spurs have won four straight and 12 of the last 18 showdowns in San Antonio. After winning both games at home against the Spurs 2011-12, the Mavericks dropped both games against the Spurs in Dallas this season. The Spurs won this season’s three meetings by an average of 23.0 points.
Darren Collison is averaging 15.3 points, 3.3 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 1.3 steals and 28.7 minutes in three games (two starts) against the Spurs this season. Collison has shot 62.5 percent (20-of-32) from the field against San Antonio this year. Vince Carter is averaging 14.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 22.7 minutes in three games (one start) against the Spurs in 2012-13.
It’s a Small World:
Spurs guard Danny Green was a college teammate of Mavericks big man Brandan Wright at the University of North Carolina in 2006-07. Wright also played with Spurs forward Stephen Jackson on the Golden State Warriors from 2007-09.
Spurs guard Tony Parker (1997-2001), Spurs forward Boris Diaw (1998-2003), Spurs guard Nando de Colo (2006-09) and Mavericks guard Roddy Beaubois (2006-09) all played in France before beginning their NBA careers. Beaubois was a teammate of De Colo’s on Cholet Basket from 2006-09.
Corey Crowder, the father of Mavericks forward Jae Crowder, played in seven games for the Spurs in 1994-95.
The San Antonio Spurs franchise began as the Dallas Chaparrals of the ABA in 1967.
1. Keep the offensive efficiency going. During their four-game winning streak, the Mavericks are averaging 107.3 points on 50.4 percent shooting (.418 3FG). Dallas’ bench is averaging 48.0 points during the winning streak. The Mavericks are averaging 28.5 apg over their last four games. Dallas is also holding its opponents to 98.0 points on 42.5 percent shooting in that span.
2. Take SOMETHING away from the Spurs. They’ve been efficient on offense and on defense this season. The Spurs are the only team to rank in the top 5 in offensive efficiency (fifth – 107.3) and defensive efficiency (third – 98.6). Dallas needs to take away San Antonio’s tenacity on defense or their highly efficient offense. It’s impossible for the Mavericks to try to take away both, so they need to try to slow down one of the facets of the Spurs’ game.
3. Fight fire with fire. The Spurs are fifth in the league at 8.4 threes made per game. They also rank fourth in the league shooting .381 from three-point range. The Mavericks have made at least 11 3-pointers in four of their last five games. Dallas has made eight-plus treys in each of its last six games and is shooting 42.5 percent from 3-point range in that span.
Bryan Gutierrez writes about sportsmen. He is a contributing writer for Mavs.com. Bryan also attended Ball So Hard University. You can follow him on Twitter @BallinWithBryan.