(Sports Network) - The Dallas Mavericks will shoot for their ninth straight win on the road when they open a short two-game trek tonight against the Milwaukee Bucks from the Bradley Center.
Dallas has won eight in a row away from Big D and is 11-1 as the visitor this season. It has lost two in a row since a five-game winning streak and suffered a 99-93 loss to the Southwest Division-rival San Antonio Spurs on Thursday at American Airlines Center.
Caron Butler posted a season-high 30 points to pace the Mavericks, while Jason Kidd added a triple-double of 12 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds. The Mavs were without All-Star forward Dirk Nowitzki for a second straight game because of a knee sprain suffered in a win at Oklahoma City on Monday. Nowitzki is averaging 24.1 points and 7.4 rebounds and is listed as doubtful for tonight's contest.
"In order for us to succeed without Dirk, we're going to have to find a way and we've got a group of awfully talented guys in here and we can win without him," said Mavericks forward Brian Cardinal, who started in Nowitzki's place and finished with nine points.
The Mavericks will also make a stop in Cleveland on their road swing. Kidd, meanwhile, recorded the 106th triple-double of his career. Shawn Marion had 10 points off the bench in the recent defeat.
Milwaukee has lost two in a row and five of its last seven games, including Tuesday's 90-77 setback in Chicago.
John Salmons scored 18 points and Luc Mbah a Moute added 12 points and 10 rebounds in defeat. Corey Maggette finished with 15 points off the bench.
"We played well at times but had nothing offensively. We got to the line a lot up until halftime and that, with our second-chance points, kept us in it," said Bucks coach Scott Skiles, whose squad made just 32 percent from the floor. "We came back and got the lead but just couldn't keep it. Turnovers came at poor times. When we were building momentum we would miss a shot or turn it over and that hurt us."
Andre Bogut grabbed a game-best 16 rebounds to go with four points, as Milwaukee posted a 51-42 rebounding advantage. The Bucks have dropped two in a row at home and are 7-7 at the Bradley Center this season. They have held 11 of the last 12 opponents under 100 points, going 6-6 in that span. Bucks guard Earl Boykins is eligible to return from a one-game suspension for making intentional contact with a game official in a loss versus Atlanta on Monday.
Saturday's game marks only the second time in franchise history that the Bucks have played on New Year's Day. The last time was on Jan. 1, 1973, when the Bucks dropped an 88-87 decision to Baltimore at the Milwaukee Arena.
The Bucks defeated the Mavs, 103-99, on Dec. 13 this season in Big D behind 23 points, 10 assists and five rebounds from Brandon Jennings. Dallas has still won three of four and 13 of the past 21 matchups between the teams. Dallas has lost 17 of its last 21 at Milwaukee and is 6-23 as the guest in this series.