NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, February 17th (All times eastern)
Dallas Mavericks (19-11) at Philadelphia 76ers (20-10), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - After sweeping a three-game homestand in Big D, the defending champion Dallas Mavericks will take their five-game winning streak to the road for back-to-back games, starting with tonight's showdown against the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center.
The Mavericks will also visit New York on the quick journey up the east coast and are 7-6 as the guest this season. They are coming off Wednesday's 102-84 victory over Denver in which Shawn Marion had 16 points and 10 rebounds to lead the charge. The Mavs are 13-1 when Marion scores 13-plus points in a game this season.
Vince Carter and Lamar Odom had 15 and 14 points, respectively, for the Mavericks, who shot 46.3 percent for the game and got 12 points from Dirk Nowitzki. Nowitzki is averaging 22/7 points in his last six games and needs one more block to become the third player in league history with 1000-plus blocks and 1,000 or more three-pointers (Cliff Robinson, Rasheed Wallace). Nowitzki has scored 20-plus points in six of seven games after he recorded just one 20-point game in his previous 12.
"I thought they were obviously a little flat," Nowitzki said of the Nuggets. "They're down a couple of people and they got here around four or five last night. We talked about that and wanted to be aggressive."
Jason Kidd had 13 points in the win over Denver. The Mavericks have averaged 100.8 points on 45.9 percent shooting on their current winning streak and are expected to be without a few players tonight. Top bench player Jason Terry is not expected to play Friday due to a strained right quad, while Rodrigue Beaubois (personal) is doubtful and Delonte West (finger) is out indefinitely.
Philadelphia is back at home for a brief stay and went 2-1 on a recent three- game road trip through Cleveland, Charlotte and Orlando. It was beaten pretty good by the Magic on Wednesday, dropping a 103-87 decision at Amway Center. Ryan Anderson scored 27 points on 7-of-10 shooting from beyond the arc for a Magic team that killed the Sixers at the perimeter with 15 three-pointers.
Lou Williams had 21 points and seven assists off the bench to pace the Sixers, who have lost three of five games and still lead the Atlantic Division by 4 1/2 games ahead of Boston and five in front of surging New York.
"They just got out to a good start," Williams said of the Magic. "It was just one of those nights."
Williams has scored 20-plus points in four of the past six games and is averaging 20.0 ppg over that span and a team-high 16.1 ppg overall. Andre Iguodala finished with 15 points, Elton Brand had 13 and Thaddeus Young provided 12 in a reserve role. The 76ers are 13-5 as the host this season and will hit the road for four straight games against the Timberwolves, Grizzlies, Rockets and Pistons following tonight's contest with Dallas.
The Sixers will continue to toil without center Spencer Hawes because of a strained left Achilles. Philadelphia has dropped three of its last four at home, including two straight, after winning 12 of the first 14 contests at Wells Fargo Center. The 76ers haven't lost three straight at home since dropping the final five home games in 2009-10.
Philadelphia has dropped nine of the past 11 matchups with Dallas, with both wins coming in the City of Brotherly Love.
02/17 10:46:12 ET