Trying to Avoid The Upset

The Dallas Mavericks had their longest win streak of the season snapped with an unlikely loss. They'll try to avoid another upset on Saturday when they host the Seattle SuperSonics, who are in danger of matching the longest losing streak in the franchise's 41-season history.

Oddsmakers from SBG Global have made Dallas -15 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for today’s game, the over/under has been set at 200.5 total points (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 53% of bets for this game have been placed on Seattle +15 (View NBA Bet Percentages).

The Mavericks (26-12) won a season-high seven straight games Dec. 29-Jan. 12, outscoring opponents by an average of 14.3 points in that stretch. Their run came to an end on Monday night, however, when they lost 122-120 at struggling Sacramento in the finale of a three-game West Coast road trip.

"We were on the top of the stick in the last game," Dallas point guard Devin Harris said. "So now we got to take it on the chin this game. That's the way it goes."

Dallas hopes to bounce back against Seattle (9-30), which has lost its last nine games since a home victory over Minnesota on Dec. 29. It's the Sonics' first nine-game skid since Oct. 29-Nov. 15, 1972, and one shy of the franchise-record losing streak, set Dec. 12-29, 1968.

Seattle's slump continued Friday night with a 124-100 loss at Memphis. Kevin Durant had 22 points and Wally Szczerbiak added 19 off the bench, but the defense allowed the Grizzlies to come within one point of their season high.

"I thought we got outworked early. For the first two quarters, certainly,'' said Seattle coach P.J. Carlesimo, whose club trailed 68-47 at halftime. "A couple of times we did a couple of good things. But all of a sudden, we got a stop, and they got an offensive rebound."

The Sonics' last three opponents have scored 123, 123 and 124 points. Seattle has dropped eight straight road games and is 4-17 away from home.

"We just have to do a better job, both the coaches and the players," Carlesimo said. "Our level of defense is terrible right now, and our effort is really poor."

Dallas' defense wasn't much better in Monday's loss. Harris, Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Terry each scored at least 20 points, but the Kings' 122 points matched the most scored against the Mavericks this season.

"We are not going to win many games giving up 122 points," said Mavericks coach Avery Johnson, whose team has dropped one-half game behind New Orleans for the Southwest Division lead. "We just got broken down all over the place. We didn't do a good job protecting the basket. Our support defense wasn't there."

Dallas' defense held up well Jan. 11 at Seattle in this season's first meeting between the teams. The Mavericks held the Sonics to 35.4 percent shooting in the 90-70 victory, and Durant missed nine of his 13 field-goal attempts.

That win was the 11th straight in the series for the Mavericks dating to a 107-102 loss on Dec. 9, 2004.

Nowitzki is averaging 23.2 points, 8.0 rebounds and 3.4 assists while shooting 50.0 percent from the field during the Mavericks' win streak against the Sonics.

By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us

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