Mar 2, 2014; San Antonio, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki (41) takes a shot over San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard (2) during the second half at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
DALLAS MAVERICKS (48-31) vs SAN ANTONIO SPURS- April 10 at American Airlines Center (8:00 p.m. ET)
Fresh off their four-game road-trip sweep, Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks return home for two of their final three games, starting with the NBA-leading San Antonio Spurs on April 10. Game starts at 8:00 p.m. ET and can be seen on TNT and Fox Sports Southwest with Mark Followill, Derek Harper and Jeff “Skin” Wade.
Dallas returns to the AAC after winning its sixth-straight road contest, a 95-83 victory over the Utah Jazz on April 8. The score is indicative on what really the game meant for Nowitzki, as he scored 21 points to pass Oscar “the Big-O” Robertson for 10th place in career points. Nowitzki now sits with 26,714 points.
Five other players scored in double figures, including Monta Ellis who added 16 points and five assists.
The Mavericks shot a franchise-best 94.1 percent in the first quarter after connecting on 16 of their 17 attempts.
Nowitzki finished the game 9-of-11 from the floor.
Derrick Favors led the Jazz with 19 points while Enes Kanter added 15 and 19 rebounds.
At 60-18, the Spurs have the best record in the league, six wins more than East-leading Miami.
The Spurs have nearly clinched the conference as they sit 3.5 games ahead of the Thunder.
After going undefeated in the month of March, and winning 19 overall, the Spurs have lost two of their last three, including falling 110-91 to the T’Wolves on April 8.
Cory Joseph and Boris Diaw scored a team-high 13 points as Tony Parker sat out. Kawhi Leonard added 11 points while Tim Duncan scored 10 points in 20 minutes.
Game 1 (Dec. 26)- Taking advantage of a weakened Dallas frontcourt, Duncan finished with 21 points and 13 rebounds for his 10th double-double this season and 768th of his career as the Spurs won 116-107 at the AAC. Nowitzki scored a game-high 25 points while Monta Ellis and Vince Carter added 23 and 20, respectively. *This is the last Mavericks home game I attended*
Game 2 (Jan. 8)- Parker scored 25 points and Duncan had 16 points and 13 rebounds, and San Antonio never trailed, cruising past the Mavs 112-90. Nowitzki struggled to score a season-low eight points on 3-of-14 shooting while Ellis scored a team-high 21.
Game 3 (March 2)- Parker had 22 points and seven assists in his return from a six-game absence, leading San Antonio’s balanced attack in a 112-106 victory over Dallas. Nowitzki led Dallas with 22 points and seven boards while Carter added 21 in 29 minutes off the bench.
GOT YOUR NUMBER: The Mavericks have struggled against the Spurs, losing the last eight meetings. The last win for the Mavs in the match up came on March 17, 2012 when Dallas won 116-99 at the AAC. In that span, the Mavs are averaging just 95.6 points a game while the Spurs are averaging 110.8 a game. Nowitzki is only scoring 18.3 points on 45.8 percent shooting this season vs San Antonio. Duncan is averaging 18 points and 11.7 boards against Dallas this season.
FIRST BALLOT HALL OF FAMERS: Nowitzki and Duncan will meet for the 78th time in their storied careers, regular season and postseason. Duncan and Nowitzki have combined to play 33 years. The two have combined to score over 51,000 points with Duncan holding down 19th place. Duncan’s also 11th in career rebounds and 7th in career blocks. Nowitzki is 40th in rebounds and 23rd in career 3-pointers. The two have played over 2,400 regular-season games. No doubt, one day, the two will be first-ballot hall-of-famers.
RACE TO THE FINISH: Dallas is a half game up on the Phoenix Suns for 7th while the Mavs are 1.5 games up on the Memphis Grizzlies, who sit in 9th. The Mavericks have three games left, including Thursday’s game while the Suns and Grizzlies both have four games left on their schedule. Dallas owns the tiebreaker with Memphis and still has to play them on April 16 to end the season. The Mavs are tied with the Suns on the season at 1-1 with the two playing one final time on April 12 in Dallas.