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GAME THREAD: Dallas Mavericks at San Antonio Spurs

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Are you ready?

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

WHO: Dallas Mavericks at San Antonio Spurs

WHAT: REAL BASKETBALL THAT COUNTS.

WHERE: AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas

WHEN: 7:00 p.m. CT

HOW: TNT

THE STORY: It's been a while since basketball that counts. The last time we saw these two teams, the Spurs were neatly finishing off the Mavericks in a game seven that...well, no one thought it would get that far. But oh...oh, that series. It left most Mavericks fans with a sense of accomplishment in a season where the team had to fight for every basket and every minute of every game to even get to the playoffs -- and then gave the eventual champs a serious run for their money.

It was the start of something that the Mavericks hope, with a tweaked lineup, could get them even further this year.

Tonight might be the Spurs' ring ceremony, but the Mavericks will trot out what they hope will be a balanced scoring attack that can compete with the efficient killing machine the Spurs have had for years. The Spurs will be without Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard, and also without Tiago Splitter and Patty "Thrills" Mills. But that won't matter. It should still be quite the first game.

Let's go Mavs. This time it counts.