Originally written on Fox Sports  |  Last updated 1/24/13
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As easily as the San Antonio Spurs have dominated the Dallas Mavericks this season, there's reason to believe this matchup could be different. Even though the Spurs are rolling and Gregg Popovich should be back on the sidelines, the Mavericks have gotten hot themselves and might not have to face Tim Duncan when these rivals square off Friday night in Dallas. San Antonio (34-11) is riding the league's longest current winning streak at six games after defeating New Orleans 106-102 on Wednesday despite missing Popovich and Duncan. Popovich did not feel well all day but waited until two hours before tipoff to say he would miss the game. Assistant Mike Budenholzer filled in for Popovich, whose absence certainly came as a surprise. "Pop's a warrior," veteran Stephen Jackson said. "Pop might be the only person who's tougher than me. I've never known him not to be here." Jackson had 15 points - his total from the previous four games combined - to help fill the void left by Duncan, who ...
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