Coming off one of their most dramatic wins of the season, the San Antonio Spurs head into a matchup that has favored them heavily in recent years.
Following a buzzer-beating victory, the Spurs will look to continue their recent dominance against their in-state rivals when they host the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night.
The Spurs have won six straight games against the Mavericks, their longest run of success in the series since a nine-game run Dec. 14, 1996-March 27, 1999.
During the current six-game streak, San Antonio (27-8) has outscored Dallas by an average of 16.0 points and shot 49.5 percent from the field.
San Antonio enters this matchup following a 110-108 victory at Memphis on Tuesday. Manu Ginobili scored the final two of his 19 points on a driving layup with 1.8 seconds to play, and the Spurs got the defensive stop they needed at the end to seal their fifth win in six games.
Tim Duncan had 24 points and 17 rebounds for the Spurs, who shot 51.8 percent from the field.
"We slacked off there for a minute, but luckily not enough to be able to regroup in overtime and find a way to win," Duncan said.
Though they have struggled recently against the Spurs, the Mavericks may actually be eager to play in San Antonio. The team has won a season-best four straight road games, limiting opponents to a 44.7 field-goal percentage during that span.
Dallas (20-15) snapped a four-game home skid with a 110-97 win over the struggling Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday. Dirk Nowitzki had a game-high 27 points on 12-of-20 shooting and Monta Ellis scored 10 straight fourth-quarter points on five shots to help put the game out of reach.
"Monta had a rough game to that point offensively, although he had quite a few assists," coach Rick Carlisle said. "We needed a spark, he made plays. ... That spurt, that got us the win."
The victory came with a cost, however, as forward Shawn Marion bruised his right shoulder after hitting the floor during the second quarter. Though x-rays were negative, Marion, who started after being questionable because of ankle and Achilles issues, will not be in uniform against the Spurs.
"(Marion) going out is tough for us, he's been playing well of late," Nowitzki said. He's a very good defender for us, so that is going to hurt us a bit."
Tony Parker scored 23 points and Duncan had 21 and 13 boards in San Antonio's 116-107 win in Dallas on Dec. 26. The Spurs set season highs with 35 free throws made and 42 attempted in that victory.
Nowitzki had 25 points in that game, but has only averaged 15.5 on 40.7 percent shooting during Dallas' six-game skid against San Antonio.
The Associated Press News Service
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