Texas Battle: Dallas Looks to Make it 13 in a Row, Bettors Think They Can
They look to extend both those streaks as the Mavericks play the San Antonio Spurs in a matchup of two defensive-minded teams Friday at the AT&T Center.
The Mavericks (26-7) are holding opponents to 91.9 points per game this season, and only Southwest Division rivals San Antonio (90.9) and Houston (89.7) are ahead of them.
In the last 10 meetings between San Antonio (23-10) and Dallas, the Mavericks have averaged 92.8 points, while the Spurs have averaged 91.6. The last five regular-season matchups have been decided by nine points or fewer.
Dallas matched its season high for a winning streak with Thursday’s 100-91 win over the Indiana Pacers. Devin Harris scored 13 of his career-high 24 points in the fourth quarter, including six on three driving baskets in a 92-second span to help the Mavericks take control.
"We really pushed the ball in transition to get some easy baskets and I was able to finish," Harris said. "We mixed it up and got some easy baskets."
Josh Howard scored 25 points, while Dirk Nowitzki, still bothered by a sinus problem, had 20.
"Nobody has a perfect game," said Harris, who has averaged 8.3 points in eight lifetime games against the Spurs. "That’s what’s good about our team. We pick each other up when it’s needed."
Dallas had its first 12-game winning streak after an 0-4 start and is just the 20th team in NBA history with two 10-game win streaks in the same season. The Mavericks are two wins shy of matching their franchise-record streak set when they began the 2002-03 season 14-0.
Nowitzki has double-doubles in his last four games against the Spurs, averaging 26.3 points and 10.5 rebounds in that span. The 7-foot German has averaged 21.1 poi
The teams have split the first two games of the season series, with the road team victorious both times in contests decided by a total of nine points. They also met in last season’s Western conference semifinals, with the Mavericks eliminating the Spurs in seven games en route to their first conference title in franchise history.
San Antonio has lost three of its last five, including a 103-101 overtime loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday. The Spurs rallied from a 13-point halftime deficit and forced overtime on a layup by Manu Ginobili – who had a season-high 26 points – with 28 seconds left.
But the Spurs had only two baskets in the extra period, leaving Ginobili wondering if the team had used too much energy in making the comeback.
"Sometimes when you do that late you consume too much energy and the team gets too confident, so that was our mistake," Ginobili said.
Tim Duncan had 24 points and 13 rebounds, but the 7-footer has not recorded a double-double in his last four home games against the Mavericks. Duncan, though, has 28 double-doubles in 34 lifetime games versus Dallas, averaging 22.1 points and 12.1 rebounds.
The Spurs are 12-5 at home this season and 23-10 against the Mavericks there.
The final meeting between the teams is in Dallas on April 15.
By: Marc Young – theSpread.com – Email Us
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