Most people view the number 13 as unlucky, but don't count anyone on the New Jersey Nets among that group. Owner Mikhail Prokhorov put it pretty simply in his New York Times Sunday Magazine profile. "As soon as we have the 13th victory, we can relax," the Russian billionaire said. On Saturday night in Newark against the Dallas Mavericks, the Nets will have the chance to pick up win No. 13 and eclipse last season's total. Prokhorov will watch the game from his luxury box for the third straight game.
After two-straight wins to open up a five game homestand, New Jersey will welcome back one of the best players to ever suit up for the franchise in Jason Kidd.
Kidd's Mavericks opened the season 24-5, but have gone just 3-10 since Dirk Nowitzki went down with a sprained knee back on December 27. Their latest setback, and seventh in eight games, was an 82-77 loss to the Chicago Bulls. In his third game back from the injury, Nowitzki led the Mavs with 19 points and four assists.
The Nets will look to carry over their momentum from two straight victories since Prokhorov announced that New Jersey would no longer be pursuing Nuggets star Carmelo Anthony. A third consecutive victory would be the Nets longest winning streak since they won four in a row back in February of 2009.
On Friday night, New Jersey took down the Detroit Pistons 89-74 with their best defensive performance of the season. Brook Lopez paced the Nets with 15 points while Kris Humphries added 11 and Anthony Morrow scored 10 in his first game back from a hamstring injury in limited minutes off the bench.
There hasn't been much drama in recent history between these two teams. The Nets have dropped four straight and five of its past six against the Mavericks, including a 102-89 loss on December 9 in Dallas.