The San Antonio Spurs are starting to find their rhythm as they visit the lowly Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday. San Antonio won four of its last five games and continues to play without All-Star small forward Kawhi Leonard and point guard Tony Parker due to quadriceps’ injuries.
The Spurs rolled to a 133-94 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Saturday and are holding their own despite their injuries. Listed as questionable for Tuesday’s game are shooting guard Danny Green (hamstring) and forward Joffrey Lauvergne (ankle), and Green chuckled when asked Monday if he felt sympathy for Dallas experiencing a poor start. “People don’t feel sympathy for other teams in this league, regardless of who is hurt or who is up or who is down,” Green said. “We’re missing some players so I‘m sure they’re not feeling any sympathy for us. Regardless, we have to go out there and compete.” The Mavericks dropped seven of their last eight games and suffered a 112-99 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday.
TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, KENS (San Antonio), FS Southwest (Dallas)
ABOUT THE SPURS (8-5): Veteran center Pau Gasol scored a season-best 21 points and collected 10 rebounds versus the Bulls for his second double-double of the season. “I was able to hit my first few shots,” Gasol said of his 8-of-11 shooting against his former club. “I got in a rhythm and I was more aggressive than usual and it’s good. It worked out and it helped the team.” Gasol drained all three of his 3-point attempts as the Spurs were a blistering 18-of-27 from behind the arc while recording their highest scoring output of the season.
ABOUT THE MAVERICKS (2-12): Rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr. has been an immediate hit with averages of 14.8 points and 4.9 assists, and he tallied at least 15 points in each of the past six games. Smith has displayed solid toughness for a 19-year-old but is also well aware there will be rough moments that occur that will test his fortitude. “I want to win every game, but tribulations come with being the best,” Smith told reporters. “That’s with everybody. So you take your lumps early, but you’ve got to look at everything as a lesson, and you’ve got to grow from it.”
1. The Spurs prevailed in each of their past four visits to Dallas.
2. Dallas PG Devin Harris (ribs) is expected to miss his second straight contest.
3. San Antonio SG Manu Ginobili will return after sitting out Saturday, one night after scoring a season-high 18 against Milwaukee.
PREDICTION: Spurs 109, Mavericks 90