Mavs After Four Straight

Two days after being taken to the final seconds in a win over the team with the worst record in the Eastern Conference, the Dallas Mavericks look to put together a more convincing performance against the team with the worst record in the West.

The Mavericks go for their fourth straight win on Sunday when they visit the last-place Minnesota Timberwolves, who hope to avoid their first eight-game losing streak in more than eight years.

Oddsmakers from SBG Global have made Dallas -9 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for today’s game, the over/under has been set at 193.5 total points (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 88% of bets for this game have been placed on Dallas -9 (View NBA Bet Percentages).

Dallas (22-11) has been one of the league's hottest teams lately, winning 10 of its last 13 contests to pull within one game of the Southwest Division lead.

The Mavericks, though, struggled against Miami on Friday before Devin Harris finally sealed the 94-89 victory by stealing an inbounds pass and passing ahead to Josh Howard for an open layup with two seconds remaining.

"We were settling for too many jump shots. When we don't play well, we settle for jump shots, we don't move the ball, we don't guard, we don't talk," said Mavericks coach Avery Johnson, whose team trailed by eight at halftime. "But when we talk, move the ball, are physical, we can be a pretty good team."

"We try to just concentrate on playing our game. I think the more that we can concentrate on playing our game, and our goals and what we're trying to meet, we can beat almost anybody."

The Mavericks certainly seem capable of beating the league-worst Timberwolves (4-28), who are off to their worst start in franchise history and in danger of dropping eight straight games in a single season for the first time since Dec. 2-17, 1999.

On Friday, Minnesota topped 100 points for the first time in five games, but the Wolves also gave up a season high-tying point total in their 118-107 loss to Denver. Al Jefferson continued his strong play with 24 points and 15 rebounds - his third straight game with at least 20 points and at least 15 boards. The Wolves, though, were outscored 24-2 on fast breaks.

"We played hard but we just gave up too many easy points," Minnesota guard Marko Jaric said. "Fast breaks, alley-oops, lobs, they definitely cost us. We did play hard but it's hard to win when you allow that many easy points."

The defeat overshadowed a stellar performance from third-year guard Rashad McCants, who came off the bench to score a career-high 34 points with five rebounds and four assists.

"He came out and he was playing aggressive tonight," coach Randy Wittman said. "He had his motor going, playing at a higher energy level. That has to be a constant. I'm not talking about just the points, I'm talking about the effort and the energy."

The Timberwolves will likely need similar performances from Jefferson and McCants as they try to beat the Mavericks for the first time in two years. Dallas has won six straight in the series, including a 109-103 home victory on Nov. 28 in the first meeting of the season.

Minnesota's last win against Dallas was a 91-78 victory on Jan. 4, 2006.

Jefferson had 31 points and 14 rebounds against the Mavericks earlier this season, but averaged just 9.0 points and 7.7 rebounds while shooting 34.5 percent from the field in his previous three games against them.

By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us

More NBA Basketball Coverage from theSpread.com

 - NBA Basketball teams
 - NBA Basketball standings
 - NBA Basketball schedule
 - NBA Basketball scoreboard
 - NBA Basketball injuries
 - NBA Basketball matchups
 - NBA Basketball stats
 - NBA Basketball odds
 - NBA Basketball public betting chart
 - NBA Basketball news wire
 - NBA Basketball top stories
 - NBA Basketball trends
 - AccuScore NBA Basketball predictions
 - Expert NBA Basketball picks
 - Comments and discussion
 - Signup for theSpread.com daily newsletter
 - NBA Basketball Home

NBA Top Stories

Thumbnail Warriors vs. Rockets Prediction Will the Warriors upset the Rockets as a rare underdog tonight when they visit Houston at 8:00PM ET?
Thumbnail Heat vs. Pistons Prediction Are the Heat a risky play tonight in Detroit where they'll take on the Pistons at 7:30PM ET?
Thumbnail Suns vs. Hawks Prediction Are the Suns a good underdog play tonight in Atlanta where they will take on the struggling Hawks at 7:30PM ET?
Thumbnail 76ers vs. Nets Prediction Is the total set too high in tonight's 76ers and Nets matchup in Brooklyn at 7:30PM ET?
Thumbnail Timberwolves vs. Pacers Prediction Should bettors fade the Pacers tonight and take the underdog Timberwolves when the two teams square off at 7:00PM ET?

NBA Headlines

NBA Team Pages