After back-to-back road games, the Dallas Mavericks return to the American Airlines Center Saturday to face the Detroit Pistons. Tipoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. CT with television coverage on Fox Sports Southwest. The Mavs lost, 101-78, in Chicago Wednesday, the team's third straight loss and fourth in their last five games. Despite their 7-9 overall record, the Mavs are 5-3 in front of the home fans and eagerly awaiting the return of Dirk Nowitzki, who has missed the early season after knee surgery. Detroit is 5-11 through Wednesday's action and winner in three of its last four games, but faces high-flying Memphis and Dallas in back-to-back games Friday and Saturday.
Elsewhere this weekend, the East's top teams face off as Miami (11-3) travels to Brooklyn (10-4) for a Saturday night showdown. The Heat and Nets get started at 6:30 CT. Western Conference leaders Memphis (11-2) and San Antonio (13-4) play for conference supremacy, starting at 7:30 CT Saturday night. The Sixers (9-6) and surprising Charlotte Bobcats (7-7) highlight the Friday slate. The Suns face the Knicks in Madison Square Garden Sunday afternoon, tipping at 11:00 a.m. CT. Dwight Howard's first game against his former team gets prime billing Sunday night on NBA TV when the Lakers (7-8) host Orlando (5-9).