Mavericks at Spurs
The San Antonio Spurs continue their four-game homestand Sunday with a Southwest Division showdown with the struggling Dallas Mavericks. San Antonio began its stretch of home games Friday with a 99-94 triumph over another division rival in the New Orleans Hornets. The victory was just the second in six overall contests for the Spurs but fifth in a row at home, where they are 9-2.
Dallas is coming off a 92-82 road setback against the Southwest-leading Memphis Grizzlies on Friday, its fifth loss in six games. The defeat dropped the Mavericks to 4-11 away from home. They conclude a three-game trek Thursday at Oklahoma City. Dallas was without Derek Fisher (strained knee) and Elton Brand (strained groin) for a second straight game Friday. It parted ways Saturday with Fisher, who requested and received his release in order to return home to Los Angeles and deal with a family situation.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, FSN Southwest (Dallas, San Antonio)
ABOUT THE MAVERICKS (12-15): For the second straight game and fifth this season, Dallas has three players come off the bench and score in double figures Friday. One of those players was Brandan Wright, who returned from a one-game absence due to a sprained ankle and contributed 12 points. Darren Collison exited the loss to Memphis in the first half with an illness and did not return. He is questionable for Sunday's contest. Dallas' bench is averaging 41.2 points, the fourth-best mark in the league.
ABOUT THE SPURS (20-8): San Antonio survived a late push by New Orleans on Friday thanks to Tony Parker, who scored eight of his game-high 25 points in the fourth quarter. Parker converted a layup after the Hornets had cut their deficit to four points, and the Spurs remained in control thereafter. "Tony has been doing that all season," San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. "He really feels the responsibility down the stretch in games to get something done." The Spurs' 11 home games thus far are the second-fewest in the league behind Denver (eight).
1. The Spurs have won 11 of the last 17 meetings in San Antonio and own a 50-26 all-time home record against the Mavericks.
2. Dallas' Shawn Marion has recorded four of his five double-doubles on the season over his last six games.
3. San Antonio has reached the 20-win plateau before playing 30 games in eight of the last 12 seasons.
PREDICTION: Spurs 106, Mavericks 89.