DALLAS -- After watching the San Antonio Spurs dismantle the Oklahoma City Thunder, 114-105, Friday night on the road, the Dallas Mavericks know they have their work cut out for them when they host the Spurs tonight at 8 p.m.
"They're playing very well right now,'' guard Jason Terry said. "I saw that they came out very focused and they hit shots.''
The Spurs were ahead of the Thunder by 27 points in the second quarter befoee holding off a late rally by Oklahoma City to run their Southwest Division-leading record to 29-13. And it was a game the Spurs won without star guard Manu Ginobili.
San Antonio also played without Stephen Jackson, who they acquired in a trade with Golden State on Thursday.
"They were without Ginobili and (Tiago) Splitter went out in the first half and Jackson’s not playing but everybody does their job.
"They’re always a challenging team to play.”
The Mavs and Spurs have some had magical battles throughout the years, and Terry expects more of the same to occur tonight. Asked if the Spurs are his favorite team to play against, Terry, a Seattle native, said: "It’s definitely one of them -- unless they bring the Sonics back.
"This is our rivals and obviously everyone knows that it’s going to be a wild, crazy building tonight and we’re excited for the challenge.''
The Mavs and Spurs have split their two games this season. The Spurs won in San Antonio, 93-71, on Jan. 5, and the Mavs won in Dallas, 101-100 in overtime, on Jan. 29.
These two teams don't like each other, and Terry spent Friday night reminiscing about what will transpire tonight.
"Last night all I was thinking about was the game,'' Terry said. "I’m focused in, I’m watching them play.
"You feel for this one a little different than you do any other one – there’s no secret in that.''
-- Dwain Price