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Dallas Mavericks Vs. San Antonio Spurs: Mavs Take On First Place Spurs

(Sports Network) - The class of the Southwest Division meet in Dallas on Friday when the first-place Spurs try to bounce back from their worst defeat in over five years against the second-place Mavericks.

The Spurs have the NBA's best record at 54-13 but have looked rather ordinary lately and are coming off an ugly 30-point setback in Miami on Monday. Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and LeBron James combined for 80 points in that one, as the Heat took down San Antonio, 110-80. It was the Spurs worst regular season loss since a 104-68 defeat at the hands of Dallas on April 7, 2005.

Tony Parker finished with 18 points and five assists for the Spurs, who had a three-game winning streak snapped. Tim Duncan chipped in 14 points and six boards.

"Everything went their (Heat) way," Parker said. "They played great. Give them credit. It was a mix of us missing wide open shots, and their defense."

The Mavericks, meanwhile, salvaged the finale of a brief two-game road trip on Wednesday in Oakland when Dirk Nowitzki posted game-highs of 34 points and 13 rebounds, as Dallas rallied past the Golden State Warriors, 112-106.

Jason Terry had 19 points and Rodrigue Beaubois added 18 for the Mavericks, who overcame an 18-point first-quarter deficit to snap a two-game skid.

"We've struggled since the break against teams that are right there in contention for championships. It's a measuring stick for us," Terry said.

Dallas remains without three-point specialist Peja Stojakovic, who is expected to miss a sixth straight game tonight with a strained neck.

The Spurs, who have a comfortable 6 1/2-game lead over both Dallas and the Los Angeles Lakers for the top spot in the Western Conference, are 2-1 against the Mavs so far this season but lost the only game in which Nowitzki played.

In fact, San Antonio has dropped four straight regular season affairs to Dallas when Nowitzki is on the floor. The Mavericks, however, did lose to the Spurs in the first round of last year's playoffs with a healthy Nowitzki.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.