Tuesday, December 18, 2012
W2W4: Will Mavs or Sixers snap losing streak?
By Tim MacMahon
DALLAS – A three-game losing streak will end tonight at the American Airlines Center.
The question is, will the Mavericks or 76ers snap their skid?
The answer could depend on the availability of Philadelphia point guard Jrue Holiday, who is considered a game-time decision due to a foot injury that has sidelined him the last two games. Holiday leads the Sixers in scoring (18.4 points per game) and assists (8.9).
Records: Mavs (11-13); Sixers (12-12)
When: 7:30 p.m.
Where: American Airlines Center
Radio: ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1270 AM (Spanish)
What to watch: Can Juice get loose? The Sixers did an excellent job containing O.J. Mayo during Philadelphia’s home win over the Mavs last month, holding him to 11 points on 4-of-10 shooting. The Sixers’ perimeter defense has slipped recently, however. Philadelphia has lost eight of its last 13 games, allowing opponents to shoot 39.8 percent from 3-point range. If Mayo gets good looks, odds are the ball is going in. He leads the NBA in 3-point percentage (51.2) and ranks second in 3-pointers made (66).
Key matchup:Elton Brand vs. Spencer Hawes – Brand played one of his best games of the season the last time the Mavs faced his former team, scoring 17 points and grabbing eight rebounds in 19 minutes. The vast majority of his minutes are coming as a backup center, meaning he’ll often be matched up with the 7-foot-1 Hawes, who has been relatively hot recently. Hawes is averaging 14.8 points on 50.9 percent shooting in the last four games.
Injuries: Mavs – PF Dirk Nowitzki (knee) is out. Sixers – C Andrew Bynum (knees) is out. PG Jrue Holiday (foot) is a game-time decision.