Sweep in Detroit?
Despite another impressive effort by Dirk Nowitzki, the Dallas Mavericks continued their season-long inconsistency on the road their last game.
Nowitzki and the Mavericks (31-14) hope to rebound Sunday, when they try to sweep their two-game series against the Detroit Pistons for the first time in five seasons.
Oddsmakers from SBG Global have made Detroit -5 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for today’s game, the over/under has been set at 186 total points (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 62% of bets for this game have been placed on Dallas +5 (View NBA Bet Percentages).
The 7-footer recorded his fourth straight double-double on Thursday in Dallas' 96-90 loss to the Eastern Conference-leading Boston Celtics. Nowitzki scored 31 points, including 17 in the third quarter. He also added 11 rebounds, six assists and three blocked shots.
Nowitzki hit both free throws with 58 seconds left to tie the game at 90, but after coming down with the rebound on Paul Pierce's missed shot, Rajon Rondo grabbed the ball away and scored the go-ahead basket.
"I had the rebound in my hand," Nowitzki said, "and then Rondo came out of nowhere and snuck it up to the basket before I could react."
Despite failing to secure the rebound, coach Avery Johnson said Nowitzki, who is averaging 27.3 points the last four games, isn't to blame.
"He came up big for us, and that's what we expect of him," Johnson said. "You know, we look for him when times are tough and sometimes we need to get his back."
The Mavericks had a four-game winning streak end with Thursday's loss, and are just 11-11 on the road. Their last road win against a team that currently has a winning record was a 96-83 victory at Houston on Dec. 15.
Dallas, which has won 12 of its last 15 overall - including a 102-86 victory at home against the Pistons (33-13) on Jan. 9 - is looking to bounce back against a Detroit team that has won four straight.
The Pistons extended their longest winning streak since an 11-game run from Dec. 14-Jan. 4 with a 90-89 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday.
Tayshaun Prince scored 22 points while Chauncey Billups added 16 and seven assists. Detroit trailed by as many as 17 in the first half, but rallied as Prince's 3-pointer with four seconds to play provided the winning points.
Billups credited the reserves, who outscored the Lakers' bench 29-19, for the win.
"I was really proud of our bench. They were great," Billups said. "It was a big win for us."
With the victory, Detroit improved to 16-4 at the Palace of Auburn Hills, and only the Celtics have a better record at home. Detroit is averaging just 99.0 points at home, but the defense is holding opponents to just 87.0 per game.
The Pistons have lost consecutive games to the Mavericks, including January's loss. Dallas shot 56.8 percent in the game, went 10-for-16 from 3-point range and Nowitzki had 23 points on 10-of-15 shooting.
Dallas and Detroit have alternated decisions in the last seven games at the Palace, where the Mavericks won 92-88 last season.
By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us
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