The San Antonio Spurs look to defeat Dallas for the 13th time in the past 15 meetings when they visit the Mavericks on Wednesday. San Antonio was on a roll with 14 victories in 18 games before suffering back-to-back double-digit setbacks to the Oklahoma City Thunder and Charlotte Hornets.
The Spurs dropped a 108-93 decision to the visiting Hornets on Monday when they had no answers on how to defend Kemba Walker, who made seven 3-pointers while scoring 33 points. "We were a step behind the whole first half," guard Derrick White told reporters afterward. "Personally, I felt like that was my worst defensive performance all season." The Mavericks are coming off a 119-114 home loss to the Golden State Warriors that represents their 14th loss in the past 19 games. Standout rookie forward Luka Doncic scored 26 points and is averaging 28 points over the past four games.
TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, FS Southwest (San Antonio, Dallas) LINE: Spurs -1
ABOUT THE SPURS (25-20): Small forward Rudy Gay (wrist) is hopeful of playing against the Mavericks after missing the past five contests. Gay received a cortisone injection over the weekend and was hoisting shots on Monday and feeling considerably better in the healing process. "I just have to let it calm down now, but (the wrist is) getting better and better," Gay told reporters while also saying he has been wearing a "nice little brace" to help provide support.
ABOUT THE MAVERICKS (20-23): Point guard Dennis Smith Jr. (back) could miss his fourth straight game since he began experiencing soreness during a game against the Los Angeles Lakers on Jan. 7. The 21-year-old Smith joked about it Monday -- "that's what happens with old age. Father Time is undefeated," he said -- but coach Rick Carlisle is concerned that the back occasionally acts up on Smith. "He's had some back tightness from time to time," Carlisle told reporters. "Part of it might be his body makeup, the fact that he is so put together. But he's doing better and we're hoping that he can be back at practice this week."
1. SG DeMar DeRozan had 34 points and nine assists as the Spurs notched a 113-108 home overtime win against the Mavericks on Oct. 29.
2. San Antonio SG Marco Belinelli (knee) sat out against the Hornets and is listed as day-to-day.
3. Dallas G J.J. Barea (Achilles tendon) underwent season-ending surgery on Monday.
PREDICTION: Spurs 108, Mavericks 104 Bet Now
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