San Antonio at Mavericks
(7 p.m. Sunday, American Airlines Center, Dallas)
TV: Bally Sports Southwest
Radio: ESPN 103.3 FM (Univision 1270 AM, Spanish)
About the Mavericks (29-22): If they want to slam a door in the Western Conference standings, this would be the opportune moment. The Mavericks have a nice lead over the Spurs and Memphis Grizzlies in the Southwest Division. A win Sunday night will give them the tiebreaker against the Spurs and a five game lead in the loss column over the Spurs, although Memphis still remains just two games back in the loss column . . . No matter the records, the Mavericks and Spurs remain one of the NBA’s best rivalries. Whether they are contending for championships, positioning for the playoffs or even on the rare occasions when one of them is headed to the lottery, there is always a rivalry when they meet. Even if some of the newer Mavericks aren’t all that familiar with it. “Our team is young, and most of them haven’t been through those divisional wars with San Antonio and Houston quite enough to really feel the full-fledged weight of a big-time rivalry,” coach Rick Carlisle said. He added that there’s a reason why the games always seem to be tight when these teams meet. “They play unselfish. They play hard, they attack. We play a similar style. So the games have been tight. I’m assuming tomorrow will be another one.” . . . Luka Dončić has been on a roll, but when isn’t he? He’s had 25 or more points in 10 of his last 12 games, although he hasn’t had double-figure rebounds or assists since a triple-double on March 15.
About the Spurs (24-26): They have lost five consecutive games and have allowed more than 120 points in four of them . . . They are coming off back-to-back losses at Denver and are on the third game of a five-game trip that will take them to Orlando on Monday night . . . Gorgui Dieng (shoulder) and Trey Lyles (ankle) were out Friday against Denver . . . The Spurs have been one of the last teams in the league to fully embrace the 3-point shot as their primary weapon. They are 29th in the league in number of triples taken and made. That said, they have taken more 2-point shots than any team in the league, although their 50.8 percent shooting from inside the arc is only 25th in the league. That’s a key reason why they only average 110 points per game, 25th in the league . . . Swingman DeMar DeRozan continues to be one of the most underrated players in the NBA, averaging 21 points and 7 assists, while also pulling down 4.3 rebounds. He’s an old-school throwback, taking virtually all of his shots from inside the 3-point arc, which perhaps is why he’s been a favorite of coach Gregg Popovich.