DALLAS MAVERICKS (19-26)
at GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS (28-17)
Tip-off: Thursday, 10:35 p.m. ET
Line: Golden State -3, Total: 205.5
The Warriors will likely be without their best player, PG Stephen Curry, on Thursday night when they host the Mavericks.
Dallas has alternated wins and losses in its past six games, but is 9-1 ATS in the past 10 games. The Mavs began a four-game road trip on Tuesday with a 106-104 loss at Portland, a game they squandered a 21-point lead in the second half and were outscored 12-3 in the final 1:37. Curry is doubtful to play in this game after suffering a sprain of his surgically-repaired ankle in Monday's 114-102 win at Toronto which forced him to miss Tuesday's 13-point victory in Cleveland, but the Warriors have been great at home this season, going 14-6 SU (12-8 ATS) and scoring 100.7 PPG on 46.6% FG at Oracle Arena. This series has been tight in the past three seasons with Dallas winning five of eight SU, but Golden State taking five of eight ATS. In the first meeting this season on Nov. 19 in Big D, the Warriors prevailed 105-101 in overtime. Golden State will likely be without PF Carl Landry (shoulder) and SF Harrison Barnes (knee), but C Andrew Bogut (ankle) is expected to start on Thursday. Dallas will be missing C Chris Kaman who is out indefinitely with concussion symptoms.
Can the Warriors win again without Stephen Curry on the court? For the answer, connect to NBA Best Bets for all the Expert picks throughout the entire 2012-13 season. For NBA Totals, the experts are a stellar 18-6 (75%) in the past six days with StatFox Gary going 9-1 and StatFox Brian at 5-2 since Friday. For the season, StatFox Scott is a strong 66-48 (58%) in Totals, while Gary is a solid 53% (60-54-4). For Best Bets, Scott is 8-4 ATS (67%) since Jan. 24 to boost his season Best Bets mark to 54% ATS (67-58-1). Brian is at 51.4% ATS (69-67-3) after a 4-2 ATS mark in the past four days.
Despite the huge blown lead on Tuesday, the Dallas offense reached 104 points for the ninth straight game, a span in which it is averaging 109.4 PPG on 48% FG and 40% threes. PF Dirk Nowitzki (14.8 PPG) is coming off a season-high 26 points in that loss to Portland, making 11-of-21 shots. He has always played well against the Warriors in his career, averaging 22.5 PPG (49% FG, 87% FT) and 7.5 RPG in 51 career meetings. Another big reason the Mavs have scored so many points in the past nine games is due to the well-rounded play of SG O.J. Mayo (17.8 PPG, 4.3 APG, 3.8 RPG), who has 15.9 PPG (48% FG), 6.6 APG and 4.9 RPG during this stretch. Mayo really kept his team in the game against the Warriors on Nov. 19, scoring 27 points (11-of-21 FG) with five rebounds, four assists and just one turnover. SF Shawn Marion (10.6 PPG, 8.1 RPG) has also thrived on offense in the past nine games with 13.6 PPG on 54% FG. He'll need to be more aggressive on the glass though, as Marion pulled down just one rebound in 34 minutes in the Nov. 19 loss to Golden State. SG Vince Carter (12.4 PPG) has been smoking hot in his past five games, scoring 17.0 PPG on 55% FG, including 11-of-19 threes (58%).
Without Curry in the lineup on Tuesday, the Warriors had three players chip in with 20 points or more. SG Klay Thompson (16.5 PPG, 4.0 RPG) scored a career-high 32 points, knocking down 13-of-24 shots and 6-of-8 threes. He has tallied at least 13 points in each of his past eight contests, averaging 21.3 PPG on 46% FG (44% threes) during this scoring binge. But Thompson was dreadful against Dallas in November, making just 2-of-14 shots (1-of-6 threes). PF David Lee (19.6 PPG, 10.9 RPG) recorded his third straight double-double on Tuesday with 20 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists, and unlike Thompson, he had a huge day in Dallas earlier this season with 17 points and 19 rebounds despite the presence of the 7-footer Kaman. In two games versus the Mavs last season, Lee had 27.5 PPG on 58% FG, and he won't have to deal with Kaman's size this time around. PG Jarrett Jack (12.8 PPG, 5.8 APG) logged just 15 minutes in the win at Dallas, but he will play a much larger role with Curry out. Jack has averaged 17.0 PPG and 8.9 APG in his past eight games with an outstanding 5.1 Ast/TO ratio (71 assists, 14 turnovers) in this span. He scored 20 points and dished out a career-high-tying 12 assists in Tuesday's victory. C Andrew Bogut (7.2 PPG, 4.6 RPG) didn't play against Dallas in November, but averaged 17.1 PPG and 11.6 RPG versus the Mavericks in nine career games when he was with Milwaukee. And after missing 38 games due to his bad ankle, Bogut returned on Monday and produced 12 points, eight rebounds and four blocks in 24 minutes of action at Toronto.