Spurs (25-20) vs. Dallas Mavericks (20-23)
When, where: Wednesday, 7:30 p.m., American Airlines Center, Dallas
Last season: Spurs won 3-1
All-time series record: Spurs lead 109-68
Season series: Spurs lead 1-0
Last meeting: Spurs 113, Mavs 108, OT, Oct. 29, AT&T Center
Spurs' last game: Lost to Charlotte Hornets 108-93, Monday, AT&T Center
Mavs' last game: Lost to Warriors 119-114, Sunday, Dallas
Spurs' last 10 games/streak: 6-4, lost two
Mavs' last 10 games/streak: 4-6, lost one
Spurs' injury/inactive report: Guard Marco Belinelli (left knee contusion), questionable; forward Rudy Gay (sprained left wrist), probable; Chimezie Metu (G League assignment), out; forward Ben Moore (G League assignment), out; point guard Dejounte Murray (torn right anterior cruciate ligament), out; Lonnie Walker IV (G League assignment), out.
Mavs' injury/inactive report: Guard J.J. Barea (ruptured right Achilles' tendon), out; guard Dennis Smith Jr. (illness), questionable;
Notable: The Spurs continue their two-game road trip Friday night in Minnesota and host the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday . . . San Antonio hadn't lost back-to-back games since Dec. 4-5 before falling to Charlotte on Monday. The Silver and Black haven't dropped three straight since mid-November. They have lost three in a row twice this season . . . The Spurs are 14-6 since dropping three games below .500 with a road loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Dec. 5 . . . The Silver and Black are the only NBA team with an all-time winning record against every team in the league . . . Only two players in NBA history have played against the team for which they won 4+ championships and were Finals MVP: Michael Jordan and Tony Parker. h/t Jordan Howenstine
With Tony Parker’s emotional homecoming game behind them, the Spurs get back to the grind of the long NBA season Wednesday night with a road game against the Dallas Mavericks.
Parker, San Antonio’s starting point guard for nearly 17 seasons before signing with Charlotte last July, scored eight points and dished out four assists in the Hornets’ 108-93 victory over the Silver and Black on Monday at the AT&T Center.
The loss was the second in a row for the Spurs, who hadn’t dropped two straight since Dec. 4-5. A defeat against their I-35 rivals Wednesday night would match the Silver and Black’s longest skid of the season. San Antonio (25-20) continues its two-game road trip at Minnesota on Friday, and hosts the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday.
“Nobody is going to feel sorry for us,” guard DeMar DeRozan said, looking ahead to the road games after the loss to Charlotte. “Nobody is going to make it easy for us. We just have to go out there and do our job.”
With starting forward Rudy Gay and guard Marco Belinelli sidelined with injuries, there were stretches in Monday’s game in which the Spurs struggled to score. Gay, the team’s third-leading scorer, has averaged 13.6 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 35 this season.
The good news for the Silver and Black is that Gay, who has missed five straight games with a sprained left wrist, is listed as probable on San Antonio’s injury report for Wednesday night’s game.
Belinelli, one of the team’s top reserves and three-point shooters, has averaged 10.5 points in 43 games. He missed the loss to Charlotte with a left knee contusion and is listed as questionable for the game in Dallas.
“We’ve got to find more ways to score,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said after Monday’s game. “We are just a little bit challenged in that way, so we’ve got to talk about that.”
DeRozan said Gay’s absence “without a doubt” has affected the team’s offense.
“It’s been tough since he’s been out,” DeRozan said. “As soon as we get him back, and get back healthy, I’m pretty sure we’ll get back to where we left off.”
Aldridge talked about the contributions Gay and Belinelli make when he was asked how much the Spurs miss them.
“They’re both offensive players that bring scoring, and bring other options out there, so of course you miss them,” Aldridge said.
Told that Gay probably would play against the Mavs, Aldridge said: “We could have another option. He’s a starter. He’s played well most of the year, so it’ll be good for us.”
The Spurs squeezed out a 113-108 victory over the Mavs in their first meeting on Oct. 29 at the AT&T Center. Although near the bottom of the Western Conference standings, Dallas (20-23) is 16-5 at home.
The Mavs have been carried by 19-year-old rookie forward/guard Luka Doncic, who has averaged 20.2 points, 6.7 rebounds and 5.0 assists in 42 games. Doncic, from Slovenia, has averaged 28.0 points, 6.8 rebounds and 6.0 assists in his last four games.
Dallas was dealt a severe blow Friday night when veteran guard J.J. Barea was lost for the season after rupturing his right Achilles’ tendon in the second half of a road win over Minnesota. He had surgery Monday, the day after Dallas lost at home to reigning champion Golden State 119-114.
Long a sparkplug for the Mavs off the bench, Barea averaged 10.5 points and 5.6 assists this season.
Charlotte point guard Kemba Walker scored a game-high 33 points in the victory over the Spurs, hitting 13 of 27 shots, including 7 of 13 from the three-point line.
“Kemba got going and he made some tough shots,” Aldridge said. “You’ve got to force him into tough ones, and he made them.”
Charlotte was ahead for most of the game and never trailed after Miles Bridges scored on a put-back dunk that gave the Hornets a 73-72 lead with 9.6 seconds left in the third period. The quarter ended with Marvin Williams draining a three-pointer from the corner, giving Charlotte a 76-72 lead heading into the final period.
“It wasn’t a good game,” Aldridge said. “Tough loss.”
The Spurs shot 46.3 percent overall (38-82) and 35 percent (7-20) from the three-point line.
“We’re just going to have games where shots aren’t going to fall, so we’ve just got to find other ways to score,” Aldridge said. “We’ve had guys shoot well most of the year, so it’s going to happen. It’s a long season. We’re going to have ups and downs. We’ve just got to try to lean on our defense more.”