Mavericks, Spurs Set for Rematch in San Antonio
Posted Nov 24 2006 10:29AM
NBA.com Daily Confidential
A season-opening loss to the San Antonio Spurs sent the Dallas Mavericks on an early-season skid. The now surging Mavericks look to avoid a repeat when they face the Spurs at the AT&T Center on Friday.
Dallas (7-4) has won seven straight since opening the season with four consecutive losses, including the 97-91 loss to the Spurs (10-2) on Nov. 2.
``I think we were just trying to find ourselves a bit,'' reserve Austin Croshere said of the team's problems to start the season. ``Early, we were waiting for things to happen, and now we're making things happen. We've definitely been the aggressors the last seven games.''
This is the longest winning streak for Dallas since a 13-game run from Jan. 14-Feb. 9.
The Mavericks routed the Washington Wizards 107-80 on Tuesday. Dirk Nowitzki scored 30 points while Jason Terry and Devin Harris each added 18, helping Dallas break open a game that was tied at halftime.
Terry went 4-for-9 from 3-point range, while Greg Bucknerand Croshere were a combined 6 of 11 from beyond the arc.
''(Assistant coach) Joe Prunty was laughing because we shot better from the 3 than we did from the 2,'' coach Avery Johnson said. ``We know that will not work all season, but we had a stretch where we made quite a few of them.''
The Mavericks have kept on winning despite being held under 40 percent shooting from the field in the last two games.
Poor shooting helped cost them a win against the Spurs in the opener. Dallas shot 43.2 percent that night, including several key misses during a 6:13 scoreless stretch in the fourth quarter.
Spurs guard Tony Parker expects to see a better effort out of Dallas this time around.
``It's going to be a great game because they are going to be motivated after what happened the first game of the season,'' Parker said. ``They are ... playing a little bit better than early in the season, so it's going to be a good test for us.''
The Spurs led 57-38 by halftime against a Heat team playing without Shaquille O'Neal. San Antonio took advantage, outrebounding the Heat 43-34 on the night.
``A win is a win,'' Parker said. ``Obviously Miami is not the same team without Shaq, but we still have to play and I thought tonight was a great win for the whole team.''
The Spurs, who begin a three-game road trip after Friday's game, are undefeated on the road, but 4-2 at home this season.
San Antonio and Dallas met in last season's Western conference semifinals, with the Mavericks eliminating the Spurs in seven games.
``It's not the same as the playoffs last season,'' Ginobili said. ``The only thing that will make us forget is to have a great season and play them again.''
The Texas rivals split four regular-season meetings in 2005-06, but San Antonio has won seven of the last 10.
Copyright 2006 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited