GAME 66 PREVIEW
Mavericks (39-26) at Spurs (26-36)
Time: 7 p.m. CT
Place: AT&T Center, San Antonio
Radio: ESPN, 103.3 FM, Univision, 1270 AM (Spanish)
About the Mavs: They will be looking to sweep the season series against the Spurs for the first time in franchise history. Though they have won five times in a season against the Spurs back when there were six meetings between the teams each season, they have never swept the Spurs . . . The road magic has been the key to the Mavericks’ success this season. They are 21-11, ensuring they will have a winning road record this season . . . However, they are embroiled in a hot race for the fourth through seventh seeds in the Western Conference playoff race. They had a chance to get within one-half game of sixth-place Houston had they won against Indiana on Sunday. The loss meant they fell 1½ games behind the 39-24 Rockets . . . This is the only road game in a six-game stretch spanning 11 days. They will return home for games against Denver and Phoenix before hitting the road for four games . . . Injuries will be a factor. Jalen Brunson (shoulder), Seth Curry (ankle), Willie Cauley-Stein (illness) and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (illness) all are out, as is Dwight Powell (Achilles). Dorian Finney-Smith (hip) is questionable . . . Kristaps Porzingis will try to rebound from a 3-of-17 shooting night Sunday against Indiana . . . Luka Doncic, meanwhile, will attempt to build on the 36-point, 10-rebound, 8-assist game he had against the Pacers. He’s averaged 30.7 points in the first three meetings with the Spurs.
About the Spurs: They are coming off of a 1-2 road trip that concluded with Sunday’s 132-129 overtime loss at Cleveland. All three of the opponents (Charlotte, Brooklyn, Cleveland) have sub-.500 records . . . The Spurs have been vulnerable defensively this season, surrendering 115 points per game (25th in the NBA) and 47 percent shooting (21st) . . . DeMar DeRozan has averaging s been a beacon of consistency for them in this difficult season, averaging 22.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game . . . Seagoville product LaMarcus Aldridge missed the last six games with a right shoulder injury and is listed as doubtful . . . Point guard Dejounte Murray (right calf) has been ruled out . . . Throughout their history, the Spurs have always been a team that doesn’t beat itself. That is continuing this season as they lead the NBA in fewest turnovers per game at 12.3 per game . . . They are attempting to reach the playoffs for the 23rd consecutive season, but are stuck in 12th place in the Western Conference, five games behind No. 8 seed Memphis . . . This is the first of four consecutive home games and the Spurs have only one road game in the next 15 days, which should give them a chance to make a push to get back into the playoff race.