San Antonio focused on closing out Mavs, not Howard
But considering that two flagrant fouls by Juwan Howard have been the most memorable plays for Dallas this series, Daniels probably used the wrong words.
"We have to be ready, take their best punch and throw ours back at them," Daniels said.
The Spurs aren't thinking about paybacks on Howard because they have something more important on their minds: ending this series in four games and avoiding a Game 5 Monday in San Antonio.
All the Spurs have to do to advance to face the Los Angeles-Sacramento winner is give the Mavs more of the same stifling defense and efficient offense.
And, even though San Antonio players have resumed their stance that Howard is not a dirty player, it might be a good idea if they look out for No. 5 when they drive the lane.
"We are not going to worry about getting hurt," David Robinson said. "We are going to go out and play hard and try to execute the way we know how to execute."
San Antonio could use the sweep to help some injuries heal.
Daniels -- starting in place of Derek Anderson, out at least three weeks with a separated shoulder in a Game 1 collision with Howard -- has a strained right hamstring. He said he felt good after going through a light practice Friday.
Malik Rose, Howard's victim in Game 3, will play Saturday despite a sore right wrist.
Anderson was at practice Friday for the first time since his injury and did some light weight lifting.
"It's only the beginning stages, but I feel a lot better," he said. "I'm getting a better range of motion so it's just a matter of time now. We won't know anything for another whole week."
Anderson has accepted an apology from Howard. After seeing Howard make the similar play against Rose with 1:24 left in a Game 3 blowout, Anderson said Howard is "still not that kind of guy."
"I think he is making some bad decisions, but it doesn't characterize who he is," Anderson said. "Even though these fouls are kind of hard, I still take it that this guy is a human being and he makes mistakes."
Howard said he appreciated Anderson's stance, but wishes people would stop talking about the hard fouls.
"That's special, but at the same time it's kind of embarrassing," he said. "You never want anything like this to happen, for it to be a distraction for the series."
If Howard gets another flagrant foul this series, he'd automatically be suspended for the next game or two, depending on the severity of the violation.
The Mavericks can make Howard's hits an afterthought by generating highlights of their own.
They've been scared out of the lane by Robinson and Tim Duncan and haven't found their outside touch. Dallas' scoring trio of Dirk Nowitzki, Michael Finley and Steve Nash have six 3-pointers between them.
The result: Losses by 16, 14 and 14 points, putting them in jeopardy of being the first team in 21 years to be swept from a seven-game series with four straight double-digit defeats. Another loss would be their first four-game skid this season.
"We just can't find our shooting rhythm anymore," Nowitzki said. "Of course they have two great shot-blockers in there which makes it harder to get around the basket, but from the outside we're having good looks. We just can't finish our shots."
Dallas coach Don Nelson has called this series a learning experience since the start. Now that his team knows all about getting whipped, Nelson sounded a bit frustrated Friday.
Asked what's been missing this series, Nelson had a list ready.
"How about a good team? How about a team that can win? How about a team that can compete against the best in the league?" Nelson said.
"We've proven all year we can do that, but we've not shown up. We've tried about everything we can find and the bottom line is we've got to play better. We've got to show them we're a good team."