Pregame buzz: Closing out at the arc

DALLAS -- The last time these two teams met, the San Antonio Spurs rained 16 3-pointers on the Dallas Mavericks, including 11 in the first half to close things out early.

That type of 3-point damage hasn't been typical against the Mavs this season. They actually rank smack in the middle of the league (15th) in defending the 3-point shot, allowing 34.1 percent. That night, the Spurs cashed in a 35-point advantage from long range.

Rick Carlisle doesn't expect his team to suffer from that range as it did on that bleak night, going 1-of-19, but he also expects his team to defend the shot much better this time around. The Spurs, the sixth most-accurate 3-point shooting team in the NBA at 38.7 percent, will certainly test Dallas' close-outs once again.

"We've gotten better statistically since that game, but we haven't played these guys," Carlisle said. "So, this is one of those ultimate challenges to try to take the 3 away. The majority of it comes from penetration. [Tony] Parker is the guy that generates the vast majority of the problems. Keeping him out of the paint is a big priority and it's very hard to do."

Much of that responsibility could fall on Rodrigue Beaubois, who should see plenty of time at the point with Jason Kidd sidelined by a right calf strain.