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Mavs seek rare win at San Antonio Wednesday
By: Freddy Wander - StatFox
Published: 1/8/2014  at  6:54:00 AM
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Tip-off: Wednesday, 7:05 p.m. ET
Line: San Antonio -6.5, Total: 208.5

The Mavericks try to stay relevant in the Western Conference playoff race when they travel to San Antonio on Wednesday to take on one of the NBA’s elite teams in the Spurs.

Dallas is currently sitting in the eighth position in the Western Conference and is coming off a 110-97 victory against the Lakers on Tuesday night as 10.5-point favorites. San Antonio is keeping pace with the Thunder in the West and is in second place following a 12-4 SU surge (9-7 ATS) in its past 16 games. The Spurs most recently defeated the Grizzlies in Memphis on Tuesday, 110-108, shooting better than 50% from the floor for the third time in four games. The Mavericks are just under .500 (8-9 SU) on the road this season, while going 11-6 ATS. On the flip side, the Spurs are 13-5 SU at home this season, but doing poorly ATS (7-11). San Antonio smoked the Mavericks in Dallas earlier this year on Dec. 26, winning 116-107, while shooting 49.3% from the field. The Spurs have won the past six games in this matchup SU and have dominated ATS (5-1). They are also 8-1 SU (6-2-1 ATS) in the past nine home meetings with the Mavericks, with the Under going 7-2 in those nine meetings. Dallas is 28-15 ATS (65%) as a road underdog over the past two seasons, but San Antonio is 28-9 ATS (76%) after scoring 105+ points in two straight games over the past three seasons. SF Shawn Marion (shoulder) will not travel with the team to San Antonio, and Spurs SG Manu Ginobili (hamstring) is listed as questionable with a hamstring injury, but is not likely to play on back-to-back nights. San Antonio C Tiago Splitter (shoulder) is expected to miss another 3-to-5 weeks.

Can the Spurs continue their win streak over the Mavericks with a convincing victory? For the answer, connect to The Platinum Sheet for all the Expert picks throughout the entire 2012-13 season. The five experts are sizzling on NBA Best Bets since the start of December, going 62% ATS (79-49-1) including 65% ATS (53-28-1) since Dec. 16. StatFox Zach has a huge 72% ATS mark (18-7-1) since Dec. 1 and is currently 58% ATS (29-21-1) on Best Bets for the season. StatFox Dave has an excellent 70% ATS (19-8) Best Bets record since Dec. 1 and is 57% ATS (29-22) on Best Bets for the season. StatFox Scott is 69% ATS (11-5) in Best Bets since Dec. 16, while StatFox Gary is also 69% ATS (11-5) in this same timeframe. Since Dec. 12, StatFox Brian is 61% ATS (11-7).

Dallas has scored 103.1 PPG this season (10th in NBA), and is coming off a 110-point performance against the Lakers on Tuesday night. The Mavs have shot a respectable 44.9% from the field in road games, but have seen their point output decrease to 100.3 PPG. Their defense has been great as of late, allowing less than 100 points in five of their past six games, surrendering only 94.5 PPG on 44.2% FG during this stretch, which is much better than the season defense of 101.4 PPG allowed (21st in league) on 45.9% FG. PF Dirk Nowitzki (21.1 PPG, 5.9 RPG) had a great game in the Mavericks' most recent win on Jan. 7 (27 points, 7 rebounds) while shooting 12-for-20 from the field. He has a long history against the Spurs (58 games, 53 starts) and has scored 21.2 PPG (45% FG) and grabbed 8.6 RPG in that time. But after averaging only 13.0 PPG (42% FG) and 6.5 RPG in four meetings last season, he poured in 25 points on 10-of-17 shooting in last month's matchup. SG Monta Ellis (19.9 PPG, 5.9 APG) has raised his game up since coming to Dallas, and had a strong all-around performance on Tuesday night with 16 points, nine assists and five steals. Ellis had 23 points to go along with six assists and three steals in the first matchup between these teams, and has averaged 19.6 PPG (43% FG) in 23 career games against the Spurs. PG Jose Calderon (12.0 PPG, 4.9 APG) has double-digit points in each of his past four games (11.5 PPG) and will need to increase his scoring output even more with SF Shawn Marion (11.3 PPG) injured. Calderon averaged 9.3 PPG (39% FG) with 7.3 APG in four games when facing the Spurs last season.

San Antonio ranks seventh in the NBA in scoring (104.5 PPG) and second in shooting (48.8% FG) this season, and has scored 110+ points in each of its past six wins. Their defense has allowed only 96.9 PPG (4th in NBA), but has given up 101.6 PPG in seven division games. PG Tony Parker (17.5 PPG, 6.2 APG) is one of the quietest superstars in the entire league, but he scored 23 points (6-of-18 FG, 11-of-12 FT) with only three assists the last time these two teams met. In his 44 career games against the Mavericks, Parker has done well (17.6 PPG, 4.8 APG), including three games last season when he averaged 20.7 PPG (57% FG) and 8.3 APG. PF Tim Duncan (14.5 PPG, 9.7 RPG) has continued to be highly effective at the ripe age of 37, and is coming off a huge game in Memphis (24 points, 17 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 blocks). He had a double-double (21 points, 13 rebounds) when these teams last played, and has averaged a double-double (21.3 PPG, 11.4 RPG) over 56 career meetings with Dallas. With SG Manu Ginobili (12.6 PPG, 4.7 APG) not likely to play, the team will look to its other two double-digit scorers, SF Kawhi Leonard (11.7 PPG, 6.1 RPG) and SG Marco Belinelli (10.6 PPG, 50% threes) to assume more of an offensive role. Leonard had nearly as many fouls (five) as points (seven) in last month's win over Dallas, while Belinelli scored just four points that night. But Belinelli has been on fire since January began, starting off the month with 32 points versus the Knicks and dropping 19 points in Tuesday's win over Memphis.

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