Clippers Host Mavs
At this point last season, the Dallas Mavericks had already put together two win streaks of at least 10 games. After their latest victory, they're closer than they've been all season to their first double-digit run.
The Mavericks look to extend their season-high winning streak to seven games as they visit the struggling Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday.
Oddsmakers from SBG Global have made Dallas -6.5 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for today’s game, the over/under has been set at 187 total points (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 90% of bets for this game have been placed on Dallas -6.5 (View NBA Bet Percentages).
After losing its first four games last season, Dallas was consistently dominant, putting together streaks of 12, 13 and a team-record 17 victories en route to a franchise-best 67-15 finish.
The Mavericks (25-11) have followed that season with an up-and-down 2007-08 campaign, but they appear to have hit their stride. After dropping seven of 12 games Nov. 23-Dec. 12, Dallas has won 11 of 13 to pull into a tie with Phoenix for the best record in the Western Conference.
Dallas overcame early shooting struggles with strong defense to beat Seattle 90-70 on Friday night for its sixth straight victory.
"Defensively we were good, contested shots, rebounding," said Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki, who led the team with 20 points. "Offensively we weren't really sharp in the first half, (and) settled for a lot of jump shots, but it was good enough, I guess."
Nowitzki, last season's league MVP, has led the team in scoring in each game of its current run, averaging 24.7 points and shooting 52.0 percent from the field. The Mavericks are 18-6 when he scores at least 20 points, and 7-5 when he doesn't.
While the Mavericks have regained their elite status, the Clippers (10-22) have fallen into last place in the Pacific Division by losing nine of their last 10 games.
Los Angeles topped 100 points for the first time in nearly a month on Wednesday, but lost 113-106 to Orlando for its 10th defeat in its last 11 home games. The Clippers cut an 18-point third-quarter deficit to one late in the game, but couldn't complete the comeback.
"I thought our team fought and came back," said Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy, who was ejected with 7:27 remaining in the third quarter after picking up two technical fouls in rapid succession. "Unfortunately, we're going to look at the film tomorrow and be disappointed in some of the mistakes we made between some of our turnovers and shot selections."
The Clippers, 29th in the league in shooting at 42.2, shot a respectable 46.8 percent against Orlando, but remained the only team in the league without a 50-percent performance from the field this season.
The Mavericks shot 55.1 percent in their 102-89 win over the Clippers on Dec. 21. Nowitzki was 11-for-17 from the field and had 30 points.
Los Angeles center Chris Kaman had 24 points, 19 rebounds and five assists in that game, but was the only Clippers starter to score in double figures.
Kaman is averaging 18.0 points and 13.8 rebounds, topping his previous career highs of 11.9 points and 9.6 boards - both set during the 2005-06 season. He's tied for third in the league with 25 double-doubles, already 11 more than he had all last season.
By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us
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