San Antonio (55-19) at Dallas (50-24)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Dallas, TX
Temp: 83° F
  • Game info: 8:00 pm EDT Thu Apr 7, 2005
  • TV: TNT
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The San Antonio Spurs can move closer to winning the first Southwest Division championship as they try to complete a season sweep of the Dallas Mavericks.

San Antonio, which has lost five straight road games, leads Dallas by five games. A win Thursday would reduce the Spurs’ magic number to one and complete their first sweep of the Mavericks since 1997-98.

Manu Ginobili scored 16 points and Brent Barry added four 3-pointers for all of his points as the Spurs won for the fifth time in six games, 91-82 over the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday.

The Spurs played their eighth straight game without Tim Duncan, who is out with a sprained right ankle and is targeting a return right before the playoffs.

Glenn Robinson, signed off waivers Monday, made his debut for San Antonio and scored seven points and picked up four fouls in 13 minutes off the bench Wednesday.

“This is a championship atmosphere, so I came in with a lot of energy,” said Robinson, who last played in March 2004 with Philadelphia. “I was so excited I almost fouled out in the first half.”

Dallas is closing in on clinching home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs with a magic number of three.

The Mavericks may be without All-Star forward Dirk Nowitzki, who is being bothered by a sore right knee suffered during a 114-105 win over Orlando on Wednesday. He underwent an MRI on Wednesday and the results were negative.

Nowitzki received treatment on his knee while teammates practiced Wednesday. He had work done on his right ankle, which also took him off the court against the Magic.

“He’s doing OK,” coach Avery Johnson said after Wednesday’s workout and before Nowitzki’s MRI was taken. “We’ll just have to see. He’s day-to-day.”

Dallas enters with a five-game home winning streak after Wednesday’s victory secured its fifth straight 50-win season. Nowitzki scored 21 points and Jason Terry added 18 and 13 assists.

The most important aspect of the win may have been Erick Dampier’s increased involvement in the offense. Dampier scored 16 points on 5-of-6 shooting in just his third game back from a stress fracture in his right foot.

“I think the guys are looking for me now,” Dampier said. “We went through a stretch of 20 games where they didn’t even play with me, so I just need to try to get myself back into the rhythm of the game.”

Terry has struggled this season against San Antonio, averaging 10.0 points and 2.3 assists.

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