Game Day Preview: Spurs vs. Mavs

SAN ANTONIO SPURS (13-1) vs. DALLAS MAVERICKS (10-4)
TEAM LEADERS

Points Rebounds Assists
SPURS Manu Ginobili 20.8 Tim Duncan 9.4 Tony Parker 7.7
MAVS Dirk Nowitzki 26.4 Tyson Chandler 8.5 Jason Kidd 9.5

Dallas_logoThe Southwest Division rivals meet for the first time since the San Antonio Spurs knocked the Dallas Mavericks out of the playoffs last season when they play tonight at the AT&T Center in San Antonio.

The Spurs (13-1) are enjoying their longest win streak since a 13 game run on Feb. 13-March 13, 2007. They will try to duplicate that feat against the Mavericks who are entering this game with a three game win streak of their own.

Nowitzki is currently the league’s second-leading scorer at 26.4 points per game and is shooting a career-high 53.6% from the field. Last Wednesday, he led the Mavericks (10-4) to a 111-103 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder with 34 points.

Tyson Chandler had season highs of 17 points and 18 rebounds  in Wednesday’s win over the Thunder, his biggest game since coming over from Charlotte in the offseason.

San Antonio rallied from 21 point deficit for a 113-109 overtime victory at Minnesota on Wednesday with Manu Ginobili scoring 14 points in the final period.

The Mavericks won their regular season matchup against the Spurs last year 3-1, but were dispatched by San Antonio in the playoffs 4-2.


KEYS TO THE GAME

SPURS:

Offense — Ginobili, Parker, and Jefferson are providing enough offense. However, they will need Tim Duncan to hold his own on the inside to have a chance. George Hill, Matt Bonner and Gary Neal gives the Spurs an extra boost from the bench.

Defense
– They will have to make Nowitzki earn his points, be wary of Kidd’s play-making ability and close out on the Mavs’ shooters.

MAVS:

Offense — Their offense starts with Kidd and Nowitzki and they have plenty of help with Jason Terry, Shawn Marion and Caron Butler on the wings, and Chandler and Haywood in the paint.

Defense — Limit Ginobili, Parker and Jefferson’s dribble penetrations and guard the Spurs’ perimeter shooters.

INJURIES

Spurs — James Anderson – stress fracture (out)

Mavs — Shawn Marion – undisclosed illness (day-to-day), Brendan Haywood – right thigh contusion (day-to-day)

PREDICTION: The Mavericks could be thinking payback in this one and will bring their “A-Game” against San Antonio and try to extend their own win streak to four games.
The Spurs’ winning streak almost ended in their last outing against the Minnesota Timberwolves, so expect a better start from them this time as they face a familiar foe. This should be a battle and will have a playoff-type of atmosphere. The Mavericks is a strong team and are playing very well lately. However, I still give the nod to San Antonio, because they have the homecourt advantage. Spurs will win another close one!

Follow Robby Lim on Twitter @RobbyLim21

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