PREVIEW: Dallas Mavericks, San Antonio Spurs meet for first time this season

Jan 20, 2021; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Dallas Mavericks forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) rebounds the ball in the second quarter against the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks play the finale of a three-game road trip Friday when they square off against the San Antonio Spurs for the first time this season in the Alamo City.

The Mavericks head to San Antonio off a 124-112 win at Indiana on Wednesday that snapped a three-game losing streak, their first such skid in almost two years.

San Antonio returns home after a 121-99 blowout loss at Golden State on Wednesday, marking the biggest loss for the Spurs this season.

Kristaps Porzingis posted season-high totals of 27 points and 12 rebounds for the Mavericks in Wednesday’s win, when six players scored in double digits for Dallas. Trey Burke hit for 22 points, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Jason Brunson added 19 each, and Luka Doncic racked up 13 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists.

Dallas hit 52.6 percent from the floor, the first game that the Mavericks shot better than 50 percent. They did it by going inside, scoring their season-best 68 points in the paint.

“That’s a huge part of the game,” Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said. “It was a great win for us. Look, we always want to get the ball to the paint. Every team in this league is scoring more points per possession when they get the ball in the paint, it’s just a fact of life. We just, you know, did a great job of just playing basketball and playing the game.”

Dallas played without Dorian Finney-Smith, Maxi Kleber, Dwight Powell and Josh Richardson because of COVID-19 protocols.

Related: If you’re a fan of the Mavericks, check out #MFFL rumors, rankings, and news here.

Four of San Antonio’s seven losses have been by eight points or less, but the Spurs were never really in Wednesday’s loss at Golden State.

Dejounte Murray scored 22 points for the Spurs, who had won the past three meetings with the Warriors and five of six.

San Antonio arrived in the Bay Area with loads of momentum after crushing the Trail Blazers 125-104 at Portland on Monday in the Spurs’ biggest victory margin of the season. Four players ages 30 or older scored 20 points in that game, marking the first time that has been done since 1998 by the Houston Rockets.

The Spurs never led, were down by 12 after the first quarter and never recovered, trailing by as many as 25 points. San Antonio shot just 37.2 percent, and was only 4 of 33 from beyond the arc, a season-worst.

“We had a bad start — they jumped on us in the beginning of the game for whatever reasons and we never got back.” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “But if you shoot 4 for 33 from three, your defense better be pretty perfect, and ours wasn’t.

“Nights like this are gonna happen. Nobody’s gonna go undefeated, and hopefully, we learned some things tonight and just keep at it.”

The Spurs play seven of their next eight games at home, where they are just 2-4 heading into Friday’s game against Dallas.

Related: If you’re a fan of the Spurs, check out #GoSpursGo rumors, rankings, and news here.

–Field Level Media