Wednesday, March 22, 2023
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NBA Preview: Dallas Mavericks (34-35) at San Antonio Spurs (18-50)

If the Dallas Mavericks had the option, they might have chosen the San Antonio Spurs, their opponent on Wednesday night, to try to snap a three-game losing streak.

However, the Spurs have been playing better recently, winning four of their last seven games, despite the fact that they are already out of contention for the postseason. A victory over the Denver Nuggets, who lead the Western Conference, was part of that stretch.

In a home-away series on Saturday and Monday, Dallas lost to the undermanned Memphis Grizzlies twice. The Mavericks were without Kyrie Irving (right foot soreness), Luka Doncic (left thigh strain), and Christian Wood (right foot soreness) in their 104-88 defeat.

Josh Green scored 23 points for the Mavericks, led by Jaden Hardy’s 28 points.

Irving, Wood, and Tim Hardaway Jr. (left calf contusion) were listed as questionable, while Doncic was already ruled out for Wednesday’s game.

The Mavericks are currently in a three-way tie for eighth place in the Western Conference. They are two games behind sixth place, which is the last position from which they will not have to play in the play-in tournament.

The Spurs will play the second game of a home-and-home series that began on Tuesday with a rousing victory over the Orlando Magic by a score of 132-114.

Jeremy Sochan had 29 points and 11 rebounds to lead the way, but the real story was that San Antonio, which was 26th in the league in 3-point shooting going into the game, hit a franchise-record 22 treys on 41 attempts.

For San Antonio, Zach Collins scored 25 points, and Doug McDermott and Devonte’ Graham scored 15 points each.

Despite playing without Keldon Johnson (sore left foot) and Tre Jones (illness), the Spurs won for the second time in three games and set a season high with 39 assists, nine of which came from Graham.

After shooting 54.5 percent from the field and 58.6 percent from three-point range over the first three periods, the Spurs took a 98-89 lead into the fourth quarter. With 6:28 remaining, Orlando came within six points, but San Antonio won the game with seven straight points.

The Mavericks prevailed 126-125 in San Antonio on December 31 and 142-116 in Dallas on February 23 in the first two games of the season series. The groups will go head to head in their customary season finale at Dallas on April 9.

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