(Sports Network) - The Dallas Mavericks are nearing another playoff berth, but
will try to get back into the win column when they conclude a four-game road
trip this evening against the postseason-hopeful Utah Jazz.
The Mavericks are seeded sixth in the Western Conference -- 1 1/2 games behind
Memphis and just one-half game in front of Denver with five to play. They had
a three-game winning streak cut short with Sunday's 112-108 overtime loss
against the Kobe Bryant-less Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center.
Dallas was led by Dirk Nowitzki's 24 points and Jason Terry netted 21 off the
bench. Delonte West netted 20 points, Jason Kidd posted 13 and seven assists
and Shawn Marion added 10 and 11 for Dallas, which is 13-17 as the guest and
was outscored by a 14-10 difference in the extra period.
"We battled hard but we didn't make enough shots. We have to do better,"
Dallas head coach Rick Carlisle said.
Meanwhile, the Jazz are coming off a tough 103-98 loss on Saturday at Memphis
in the finale of a three-game trek (1-2).
Devin Harris finished with 20 points and six assists, while Al Jefferson
netted 20 points to go with eight rebounds in the loss. Paul Millsap and
Gordon Hayward contributed 17 points apiece for the Jazz, who had won two
straight and four of six games before its current two-game slide.
"We aren't out of it by any stretch of the imagination," said Jazz coach
Tyrone Corbin, whose team is 1 1/2 games off the final playoff spot with five
to play. "Plus, we want to continue to grow as a team. These experiences this
time of year are invaluable to us. We are getting in game situations and
pressure situations to grow and learn how to play, and with a young group of
guys, we're learning together."
The Jazz will play four of five games in Salt Lake City to close out the
season and own a 21-8 mark as the host. Utah forward Jeremy Evans is
questionable for Monday's game with a sprained right ankle.
Utah has lost the first three meetings of the season against the Mavericks and
will try to avoid being swept for a second straight year. Dallas won all four
meetings in 2010-11 and is unbeaten in three straight trips to Utah.
The Sports Network