Mavericks-Warriors Preview

The Associated Press

Not much is going right for the Dallas Mavericks on this grueling stretch of three road games in as many nights.

The Mavericks will try to end their longest road losing streak in more than 12 years Saturday night when they take on the Golden State Warriors.

Dallas (23-19) probably expected better results in its lone stretch of three games in three nights. The Mavericks had won eight straight over Phoenix, Thursday's opponent, and 10 in a row over Sacramento, Friday's foe.

Instead the club's road losing streak has hit six - its longest since an eight-game slide Nov. 7-30, 1999, early in Dirk Nowitzki's second season. Dallas fell 96-94 to the Suns and 110-97 to the Kings.

"It's time for change," guard Jason Terry said. "You can only look at something for so long and you're getting the same result, so at what point are you going to change or are you going to ride it out? ... We're not a team right now. It shows, so until we become a team and play together on both ends of the court, we're not going to be very good."

The Mavericks had 17 turnovers Friday that led to 28 points for the lowly Kings, who led by as many as 21.

"It's the thing that has been biting us lately, the turnovers, and we have to do a better job of taking care of the ball," coach Rick Carlisle said. "We had early turnovers and we never got out of that hole."

Fatigue appeared to be a factor Friday for several key Mavs veterans - 33-year-old Nowitzki, 35-year-old Vince Carter and 38-year-old Jason Kidd. Nowitzki made 5 of 13 shots for 13 points, Carter failed to score after missing all five shots and Kidd was 2 of 8 for six points with four assists.

It's unclear what to expect from any of them against a Warriors team that has not played since a 110-92 home loss to Memphis on Wednesday. Golden State (15-21) features an energetic backcourt of 26-year-old Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry, who turns 24 next week.

Curry continues to be limited by a strained tendon in his right foot, and he and the Warriors will be looking to make amends after falling behind 21-4 on Wednesday. Golden State, which was outscored 52-26 in the paint, rallied to take the lead but trailed again by as many as 22 in the fourth quarter.

"As a coach, you don't want to have to coach energy, effort, passion," coach Mark Jackson said. "They outworked us, and the only way we got back into the game was because, even though we went small, that group competed and they worked. Just an embarrassing effort for us tonight."

The Warriors are in 13th place in the Western Conference standings, four games out of a playoff spot.

"Mathematically we are still in it, there is always a chance," Curry said. "It's going to be a tough task because we have a lot of games to make up; we have to go on a run. We are still focused on that goal."

Mavs starting center Brendan Haywood missed his third straight game Friday with a sprained ankle. He remains day to day.

Dallas had won six straight against the Warriors before losing the most recent meeting April 2, when Ellis scored 32 points in a 99-92 victory in Oakland.