After a tough loss to the LA Lakers on Wednesday ended their four-game winning streak, the Dallas Mavericks will try to regain their momentum as their schedule toughens when they travel to San Antonio to play the Spurs on Friday.
It's the first of seven straight games against teams in the top half of the NBA, a stretch that could very well make or break the Mavericks season. The team is hoping that injured forward Shawn Marion, who was a late scratch against LA, will be available, while center Brendan Haywood is still a few games away from returning to the line-up.
Friday's contest is also the second meeting between the two Southwest Division rivals in the last week, as Dallas defeated San Antonio 106-99 at home on March 17.
The difference was Dirk Nowitzki, who had 27 points on 9-19 shooting while getting his shot at will against the smaller Spurs front-court.
On the other side of the ball, Tony Parker struggled against fellow French speedster Rodrigue Beaubois, who helped hold the San Antonio All-Star to 13 points on 5-12 shooting.
The Spurs are at 30-14, five games ahead of the Mavericks in the Western Conference, and a win on Friday could all but eliminate Dallas from any chance of a division crown in 2012.
The 7:30 PM game will be broadcast regionally on Fox Sports Southwest.
For the latest news and notes on the Mavericks, head over to Mavs Moneyball while Pounding The Rock has you covered for everything you need to know about the Spurs.