SAN ANTONIO SPURS (34-11)
at DALLAS MAVERICKS (18-24)
Tip-off: Friday, 8:05 p.m. ET
Line: San Antonio -1.5, Total: 206
With Spurs PF Tim Duncan (knee) and head coach Gregg Popovich (illness) not making the trip to Dallas, the Mavericks look to steal one at home on Friday night.
San Antonio enters Friday with a six-game win streak (3-3 ATS), and has won both meetings with the Mavs this season in blowout fashion, prevailing 129-91 at home on Dec. 23 and then rolling 111-86 in Dallas on Dec. 30. That was Dirk Nowitzkiís first game back, however, and a lot has changed since then. The Mavericks have won seven straight ATS, going 5-1 SU in the past six games, with the lone loss coming in overtime to Oklahoma City. SF Kawhi Leonard is also questionable for this game with an injured knee
Can the Spurs keep their win streak intact with a depleted roster? For the answer, connect to NBA Best Bets for all the Expert picks throughout the entire 2012-13 season. StatFox Scott is 5-3-1 ATS (63%) in his past six days to boost his season Best Bets mark to 53% ATS (60-54-1). StatFox Brian is at 51% ATS (65-63-3) while StatFox Gary is also winning 51% ATS (52-50-4) for the season. StatFox Dave is 8-4-1 ATS (67%) since Nov. 24 when he mentions the word "hammer" in his analysis, including 6-4 ATS (60%) when he uses the term "Hammertime." The four experts are collectively 50% ATS on Best Bets for the season. For NBA Totals, Scott is 9-5 (64%) since Jan. 15, boosting his impressive season NBA Totals record to 62-45 (58%).
San Antonio has now won six straight games, mostly behind the great play of their recently named All-Star, PG Tony Parker. During the win streak, Parker is averaging 21.5 PPG (55% FG) and 9.7 APG. For the season, he is making 52% of his shots (39% from downtown), which includes a healthy 58% FG clip in the two games versus the Mavs, leading to 19.5 PPG and 7.5 APG. SG Manu Ginobili returned to the Spurs lineup last game against the Hornets on Wednesday after missing four games with a hamstring injury. Ginobili had nine points and five assists in just 17 minutes of play, but looked good attacking the rim as he got to the line five times. In two games versus Dallas this season, he has 13.0 PPG (50% FG), 7.0 APG and 4.5 RPG. Swingman Danny Green had a strong game against the Hornets on Wednesday with 12 points (5-of-11 FG) and seven rebounds, while also recording two steals. He was nearly perfect in the first meeting with Dallas this season, scoring a career-high 25 points on 9-of-10 FG and 7-of-8 threes.
Dallas enters this game on four days of rest, and the team is 6-3 ATS with more than one day of rest in between games this season. PF Dirk Nowitzki is averaging just 13.9 PPG on 40.8% FG, his worst rates since his rookie season. But he's been more effective since rejoining the starting lineup, scoring 16.4 PPG with 6.4 RPG in these past nine games. He's had success in the past versus the Spurs, averaging 26.7 PPG and 9.0 RPG in a 10-game span from 2008-09 to 2010-11, but in his past six meetings with his division rival, Nowitzki is scoring just 12.5 PPG on 36% FG (3-of-13 threes). SG O.J. Mayo leads the Mavs with 18.2 PPG, and after a brief slump coinciding with the return of Nowitzki, has now started to find his stroke. Mayo is averaging 17.7 PPG on 48% FG (44% threes), 6.2 APG and 5.3 RPG in his past six contests. But in two games versus the Spurs this season, he has scored just 7.5 PPG on 7-of-22 FG (32%) and 0-for-6 threes. PG Darren Collison, who has been up-and-down all season, is starting to heat up with 14.8 PPG on 56% FG (5-of-9 threes) with 6.8 APG in his past four games. And he hasn't missed much in this series so far, knocking down 15-of-22 shots (68.2%) for 16.5 PPG and 5.0 APG in two games against San Antonio. Collison and SF Vince Carter (12.3 PPG) are two players that Dallas needs to contribute on a nightly basis if they are going to make their late run towards the Western Conference eight seed.