Spurs face Mavericks, Knicks battle Trail Blazers on TSN2

The Sports Network
3/14/2013 11:22:09 AM
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(Sports Network) - Just one game after taking down arguably the top offensive team in the NBA, the San Antonio Spurs put up a clunker the following night.

San Antonio will try to regroup Thursday, when the Southwest Division-rival Dallas Mavericks pay a visit to the AT&T Center.

Catch all the action live on TSN2 and TSN Mobile TV at 8pm et/5pm pt.

The Spurs handed the Oklahoma City Thunder a 105-93 setback Monday night in the Alamo City, then dropped a 107-83 road decision to the lowly Minnesota Timberwolves the next day. The Spurs had a 28-24 advantage after the first quarter and lost the next three periods, including a 29-10 margin in the second stanza.

Seventeen turnovers led to 30 Minnesota points, while Spurs point guard Cory Joseph paced the team with 15 points. Stephen Jackson and Danny Green finished with 14 and 10 points, respectively, for San Antonio, which has lost two of three games since a three-game winning streak.

Minnesota shot 53.7 percent and made 12-of-20 3-pointers. The Spurs only made 35.4 percent of their shots and sank just 9-of-29 from downtown.

"Minnesota was more aggressive than we were for more of the 48 minutes. They were physical," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "They obviously shot it very well. Both defensively and offensively they had a very good game and kicked our butt."

San Antonio will play four in a row at home and is 26-4 as the host. It will also entertain Cleveland, Golden State and Utah on the residency. The Spurs didn't have Tim Duncan or Kawhi Leonard on the trip to Minnesota due to sore knees. Duncan and Leonard are probable Thursday. The Spurs, of course, are dealing without Tony Parker because of a knee injury.

The Spurs, seeded first in the Western Conference, are a win shy of 50 for a 14th consecutive season.

Dallas enters this matchup on a roll, having won a season high-tying four straight and five of six games, and will close out a four-game road trip Thursday.

The Mavericks recorded a 115-108 victory at Milwaukee on Tuesday as Vince Carter scored 23 points off the bench and Dirk Nowitzki had 19 points and 11 rebounds. Jae Crowder and O.J. Mayo scored 14 points apiece for the Mavericks, who shot 50 percent for the game and are averaging 107.3 ppg in the last four games. Dallas is 14-2 when shooting 50 percent or better in 2012-13.

"I just felt in the groove," said Carter, who had 13 points during the decisive fourth quarter. "The basket just seemed extremely big and I felt comfortable in my shot. I was just in the flow of the game, and a couple of shots, once I let them go I happened to look down and see the 3-point line was up there."

Carter sank some big shots to stop Milwaukee's momentum and kept the Mavs' hopes for a playoff push intact. The Mavs are 2 1/2 games off the eighth and final postseason spot in the West.

After visiting the rival Spurs, Dallas, which is 13-21 as the guest, will play two straight and eight of the next nine games at home. In injury news for Dallas, guard Darren Collison (blurred vision) is questionable Thursday and veteran forward Shawn Marion (calf) is expected to miss the game. Marion has missed three straight games.

The Mavericks have lost the first three meetings with the Spurs this season, four straight overall and eight of the previous 10 matchups between the division foes. Dallas has lost four straight and 12 of its last 18 at San Antonio, which hasn't swept a season series with Dallas since winning all four encounters back in 1997-98.

Carter is averaging 14.3 ppg against the Mavs this season and needs seven field goals for 8,000 in his career. Duncan is averaging 16.5 ppg in two meetings with Dallas this season and has faced the Mavs 54 times in his career, posting averages of 21.1 points and 11.2 boards.

Knicks limp into matchup with Trail Blazers

(Sports Network) - Before the New York Knicks departed for their five-game western road trip, coach Mike Woodson said he would be happy if his team recorded a .500 record on the jaunt.

One more loss on this trek and Woodson will not be a happy man.

The Knicks will get back to work Thursday against the Portland Trail Blazers in hopes of ending a two-game slide. The journey started with a defeat at Golden State and resumed with Wednesday's 117-94 blowout loss to Denver in Carmelo Anthony's return to the Rocky Mountains.

Catch all the action live on TSN2 and TSN Mobile TV at 10:30pm et/7:30pm pt.

Drafted third overall in 2003 by the Nuggets, Anthony played in his second game since missing three in a row with a right knee injury. He scored 14 points in a little over 33 minutes against the Warriors, then had only nine points in less than 22 minutes in Wednesday's loss. Anthony left the game early in the third quarter because of the knee issue and is headed back to New York to have the knee drained.

Anthony said the knee stiffened up and he wasn't able to move as gracefully as he would have liked.

"I'm going to go get it drained, get the fluid out," Anthony said after the game. "Get to the bottom of it quick, so I can get back on the court."

Anthony, who forced a trade to the Knicks two years ago, is third in the NBA with 27.5 ppg, but hasn't been his usual dominant self since the injury.

The Knicks are already without power forward Amare Stoudemire (knee surgery) and were led by Iman Shumpert's 20 points at Denver. J.R. Smith scored 15 points off the bench and James White added 10 for New York, which has dropped three of four games and is 16-14 on the road.

Knicks center Tyson Chandler suffered a knee contusion late in the first half and did not return. Chandler is probable for Thursday's game in Portland and is averaging 10.7 points and 11.0 rebounds this season.

New York still has matchups with the Clippers and Jazz remaining on the trek and is third in the East standings, one game behind idle Indiana.

Portland is hoping to turn things around and get back into the postseason mix as it sits 3 1/2 games off the final playoff berth in the West.

The Trail Blazers have stumbled recently, losing three of four and 11 of their last 14 contests, and opened a three-game homestand with Tuesday's 102-97 loss at the hands of the Memphis Grizzlies. Portland put forth a valiant effort in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Grizzlies by a 39-34 margin, but it wasn't enough to prevent the team from losing two in a row.

"They are physical. They play great team defense, play great individual defense. It was a struggle to score all night," Portland coach Terry Stotts said of Memphis, which is first in the NBA in points allowed (89.4).

Rookie of the Year candidate Damian Lillard scored 30 points on 8-of-17 shooting and went a perfect 11-for-11 from the foul line for the Trail Blazers, while All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge had 28 points and 10 rebounds. Eric Maynor was the only other Blazer in double figures with 11 points off the bench.

Portland is 20-11 at the Rose Garden and will close out the homestand Saturday versus the Detroit Pistons. In injury news for the Blazers, Aldridge, who leads the team in points (20.7), is probable Thursday because of a bruised hand and migraine.

Meanwhile, Lillard leads all rookies in scoring (19.0 ppg) and assists (6.4 apg) and had 21 points, five rebounds and six assists in a 105-100 victory over the Knicks on Jan. 1 at Madison Square Garden. Anthony scored 45 points, but will not be around for revenge. Smith netted 28 points in that one for New York, which has dropped 10 of the last 15 meetings with the Blazers.

The Blazers are 9-2 in the past 11 at home versus the Knicks and haven't swept a season series with them since 2008-09 (2-0).

Nowitzki, Duncan (Photo: Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Image)


(Photo: Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Image)
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