W2W4: Bucks paved Mavs' title path?

On Dec. 13, 2010, the Milwaukee Bucks handed the Dallas Mavericks one of the strangest victories in defeat in the history of sports by coming into the American Airlines Center and ending the Mavs' 12-game winning streak.

It was the fifth time in the Bucks' history that they had stopped a winning streak of at least 12 games. The most famous instance was when Milwaukee ended the Los Angeles Lakers' NBA-record 33-game winning streak on Jan. 9, 1972. The Bucks also ended 12-plus game streaks by the Celtics (12, 1973), 76ers (14, 1983) and Spurs (13, 2007).

Now here comes the really incredible part: All four teams, ESPN Stats & Research dug up after the Bucks' big win in Dallas, went on to win the championship that season.

The Mavs, hardly a favorite at the time, made it a remarkable 5-for-5.

Records: Bucks (4-6); Mavs (6-5)

When: 7:30 p.m.

Where: American Airlines Center


Radio: 103.3 FM ESPN; 1270 AM (Spanish)

What to watch: The Bucks have lost all six games on the road, which makes them a hungry team -- like any dragging a negative streak in the eyes of Mavs coach Rick Carlisle. They've also won two in a row overall after downing Detroit Thursday night. The bigger issue for Dallas is Milwaukee center Andrew Bogut is back after missing three games, all Bucks losses. He returned Tuesday night and recorded a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds to knock off San Antonio. With the 7-foot Australian in the lineup, Milwaukee is a different team, 4-2 as opposed to 0-4. In that streak-buster in Dallas, Bogut had 21 points and 14 rebounds.

Key matchup: Stephen Jackson vs. Shawn Marion

During the Bucks' media day, the Texas native was entertaining the Milwaukee media and to make the point that he didn't watch the playoffs last season asked who won the championship. When informed that the Mavs beat the Heat, Jackson eloquently replied, "Dallas sucks to me." Jackson, obviously, has a history with the Mavs, helping to take them down in the West finals as a role player with Spurs in 2003 and then tormenting Dallas in 2007 with the eighth-seeded Warriors. Then, of course, Jackson has long been a name tied to the Mavs in trade rumors, but one, including last season, that never came to fruition. At any rate, Jackson, despite shooting just 37.5 percent on the season, remains a dangerous scorer as the Spurs were reminded Tuesday night by Jackson's season-high of 34 points on 12-of-17 shooting (and 3-of-4 on 3s). He had 25 more Thursday night. He'll get a heavy does of Marion, the Mavs' top defender against opposing wings.

Injuries: Bucks - F Luc Mbah a Moute (right knee) is questionable; G Beno Udrih (left shoulder) is questionable; G Mike Dunleavy (groin) is doubtful. Mavs - G Jason Kidd (lower back) is questionable.

Up next: Sacramento Kings at Mavs, 7:30 p.m., Saturday