Luka Doncic on 'History Watch': Mavs GAMEDAY at San Antonio

BriAmaranthus

DALLAS - The Dallas Mavericks are hitting the road for a four-game stretch, starting with the San Antonio Spurs. ... in what MFFLs hope marks a continuation of the death of the "Little Brother'' thing.

Yes, the Mavs are 2-0 against the Spurs this season. However, the Spurs are sitting at 11th in the Western Conference standings and in jeopardy of missing the NBA playoffs for the first time in 22 years. Let this sink in … the Spurs have advanced to the playoffs every year since Mavs’ point guard/birthday boy Luka Doncic (he turns 21 on Friday in Miami) has been born.

To beat a desperate Spurs team, the Mavs (who are 19-9 away from the AAC) need to maintain their brilliant play on the road.

Betting line: Dallas is a five-point favorite with a 229.5 game total over/under.

Numbers to know: The Mavs won three of their last four games and each win has been by double-digits.

Record watch: Luka Doncic is one triple-double away from tying Jason Kidd for the most triple-doubles in Mavs history. Doncic has an NBA-high-tying 12 triple-doubles this season and has 20 for his career.

‘Not growing on trees’: Speaking of peaking at the right time, Tim Hardaway Jr. is having the best season of his seven-year NBA career. Hardaway Jr. led the Mavs with 23 points on Monday night in their win against the 139-123 dominating win over Timberwolves. He is averaging 24.8 points in his last five games on 55.8-percent shooting from the floor.

His rejuvenated play, attitude and leadership in the locker room caused coach Rick Carlisle to gush about the shooting guard.

“Tim is about the right stuff,” Carlisle said. “He is a culture guy, he gets onto teammates, and he cares. Guys like him aren’t growing on trees.”

Injury update: Mavs- Jalen Brunson: OUT (shoulder), Willie Cauley-Stein: day-to-day (personal), Dwight Powell: out for season (Achilles).

Spurs- LaMarcus Aldridge: OUT (right shoulder soreness)

Key to victory: DEFENSE! Dallas is giving up 110.6 points per game, including 123 points in their last game against the Timberwolves. With Aldridge sidelined, it'll be all eyes on how the Mavs can slow All-Star DeMar DeRozan.

Game Time: 7:30 p.m. CT

Location: AT&T Center, San Antonio TX

TV/Radio: FSSW, 103.3 FM, Univision, 1270 AM (Spanish)

Records: Mavericks (35-23, 7th in West), Spurs (24-32, 11th in West)

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