SAN ANTONIO – The Dallas Mavericks are using this upcoming three-game trip as the first step toward gettingJosh back on the good foot.

The Mavs have dropped nine of their last 12 games entering Wednesday’s 7:30 p.m. contest against the San Antonio Spurs at AT&T Center. The losing trend is not the path the Mavs desire to be on with the playoffs a little over a month away.

Overall, the Mavs are in ninth place in the Western Conference standings and own the same 34-35 record as the No. 8-seeded Oklahoma City Thunder and the No. 10-seeded Los Angeles Lakers. And the No. 11-seeded Utah Jazz and No. 12-seeded New Orleans Pelicans are only a game behind the Mavs with identical 33-36 records.

Seeds seven-10 will qualify for the NBA play-in tournament. But obviously the Mavs would rather climb into one of those coveted automatic playoff spots which are reserved for the conference’s top six seeds. And three of those spots are definitely within reach of the Mavs since they’re just three games behind the No. 4-seeded Phoenix Suns (37-32), and only two games behind both the No. 5-seeded Golden State Warriors (36-33) and the No. 6-seeded Minnesota Timberwolves (36-33).

The Mavs only have 13 games remaining in the regular season, so they already know time’s a wasting. After the game against the Spurs, the rest of this road trip including a Kleber and Luka at practice.Friday contest against the Lakers and a Monday game against the Memphis Grizzlies before the Mavs return home to face the defending NBA champion Warriors on March 22.

And just because the Mavs are facing a Spurs’ team that has the third-worst record in the NBA at 18-50, they know that means absolutely nothing. Especially since the last time the Mavs were in San Antonio back on Dec. 31, they needed a whopping 51 points, six rebounds and nine assists from Luka Doncic just to escape with a dramatic 126-125 victory over the Spurs.

In that game, Doncic was fouled with 1.5 seconds left and went to the free throw line to attempt a pair of shots. But after Doncic missed the first free throw, since the Spurs were out of timeouts he intentionally missed the second free throw, thus preventing the Spurs from having any chance of setting up a desperation play.Kyrie

However, on Wednesday for the third straight game the Mavs will be without the services of Doncic, who is nursing a left thigh strain. Also, Kyrie Irving (right foot soreness), Christian Wood (right foot soreness) and Tim Hardaway Jr. (left calf contusion) are all listed as questionable for the game against the Spurs.

Regardless of which players will be healthy enough to play against the Spurs, the Mavs are using this three-game road trip as the first step towards getting back on the good foot.

*Rookie Jaden Hardy scored a game-high 28 points while playing 41 minutes in Monday’s 104-88 loss to Memphis, one game after he poured in 22 points during last Saturday’s 112-108 loss in Memphis.

*Former Baylor star Jeremy Sochan collected game highs of 29 points and 11 rebounds on Tuesday to lead the Spurs to a 132-114 victory at home over the Orlando Magic. Also for the Spurs, Zach Collins was 10-of-14 from the field and finished with 25 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals on 28 minutes. Because of multiple surgeries, Collins played only 21 total games during the previous three seasons.

*Josh Green scored 23 points on 10-of-15 shots during Monday’s game against the Grizzlies after firing in 21 points on 9-of-16 shots during this past Saturday’s 112-108 loss in Memphis.

*The Spurs were 22-of-41 from three-point range against Orlando. That’s the most three-pointers the Spurs have ever made in a game. The team’s previous record Hardywas 18 made triples which they set during a Nov. 26 game against the Los Angeles Lakers.

*The Mavs will play eight of their final 13 games on the road. But their final regular season game is at home on April 9 – against the Spurs.

*Incredibly, the Spurs had a season-high 39 assists on the 48 field goals they converted against the Magic. Since the calendar flipped to 2023, the Spurs are just 6-27. However, they are a respectable 4-3 in their last seven games.



Time: 7:30 p.m., Wednesday

Place: AT&T Center, San Antonio

TV: Bally Sports Southwest

Radio: 97.1 FM The Freak; 99.1 FM Zona MX (Spanish)

Twitter: @DwainPrice

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