This was the third consecutive game Nowitzki missed since suffering a mild sprain of his right knee. He joined the Mavericks on this two-game road trip, but there's a strong possibility that Nowitzki will not play again until next week's three-game homestand.
The Mavericks (24-8) have lost all three games without Nowitzki, who is averaging 24.1 points and 7.4 rebounds while shooting 54.5 percent from the floor. Dallas has fallen 4½ games behind San Antonio in the Western Conference standings.
With Marion also sidelined, the Mavs will rely heavily on Brian Cardinal, who started Thursday against the Spurs. Cardinal, a 10-year veteran journeyman, has played in only 16 games this season.