The San Antonio Spurs are 0-3 on the road, but should have some confidence playing an opponent they beat at home a week ago while short-handed.
There’s little question that the surging Dallas Mavericks are confident after winning the final three games of a road trip.
The Southwest Division rivals meet for the second time in eight days Wednesday night when the Mavericks begin a three-game homestand.
San Antonio (4-4) has yet to win on the road and is 2-4 overall with Tony Parker(notes) and Tim Duncan(notes) in the lineup. Both superstars missed two victories last week before returning for Saturday’s 101-98 loss to Oklahoma City.
Richard Jefferson(notes), acquired in an offseason trade with Milwaukee, had a season-low four points in 35 minutes after averaging 26.5 in the two games without Parker and Duncan. The newcomer feels it is difficult to judge the Spurs through eight games.
“We still haven’t played that many games together yet,” Jefferson said. “And I think everyone’s always looking for that 8-2 start, everything’s going great. Well that’s not how the NBA works sometimes.”
Jefferson’s best game with San Antonio came last Wednesday in a 92-83 win over Dallas (8-3) with Parker and Duncan out. He scored 29 points in the first game between the rivals since the Mavericks eliminated the Spurs in five games in the first round of the playoffs last season.
Playing Dallas again so soon gives this matchup a bit of a postseason feel.
“I played home-and-homes before with teams where you play them on a Friday and you turn around and play them back-to-back on a Saturday,” Jefferson said. “It’s interesting, but I think it’s good for us to get these good, competitive games against a quality team.”
The Mavericks have won three straight since that loss, winning 115-113 in overtime at Milwaukee on Monday. Dirk Nowitzki(notes) capped a 32-point, 11-rebound performance with the winning 18-foot jumper as time expired.
“We feel fortunate,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “We played hard enough to deserve the game and they did too. It’s a great win for us and a tough loss for them.”
The winning streak has coincided with Carlisle inserting Rodrigue Beaubois(notes) into the lineup after the rookie did not see action last week against the Spurs. Beaubois is averaging 11.7 points on 63.6 percent (14 of 22) shooting.
“This is a big win. … We’ve given some away and tonight, it was kind of looking like that, but we stayed involved and made some plays down the stretch,” Kidd said.
Erick Dampier’s(notes) status is uncertain. The center was hospitalized after warmups ahead of Sunday night’s 95-90 victory in Detroit and Drew Gooden(notes) has posted two double-doubles in his place.