The Dallas Mavericks are not yet safely into the postseason. Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks host Tim Duncan and the Spurs on Thursday night and a win by Dallas over their Texas rivals will bring them closer to a playoff spot.
Dallas at 48-31 is in 7th place—one game behind the Golden State Warriors (48-29) in 6th; half a game ahead of the Phoenix Suns (47-31) in 8th place; and one and a half game ahead of current bubble team Memphis Grizzlies (46-32).
For the Spurs, they already have the inside track in clinching the best record in the league. At 60-18, they are ahead by three games against nearest rival Oklahoma City Thunder (57-21) and appear to be in cruise control mode in their final games of the regular season.
However, these Spurs squad have dominated the Mavericks in this season. San Antonio looks to sweep Dallas after three wins earlier in the year—116-107 on December 26; 112-90 on January 8; and 112-106 on March 2.
For Dallas, they’d rather forget about those three defeats and just salvage a single win against their rivals— and probably, the most important game in the four match-ups.
The Mavericks are looking for a fifth straight win and coming off a 95-83 victory over the lowly Utah Jazz. Six players scored in double-figures for Dallas led by Nowitzki’s 21 points. Monta Ellis contributed 16 points and 5 assists.
Meanwhile, the Spurs have lost two their last three games. The last one was a 110-91 blowout loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves. San Antonio played without Tony Parker (back injury) and gave limited time to Duncan (20 minutes) and other key players.
Watch the Spurs-Mavericks match-up via NBA League Pass.