Posted March 23, 2013 on AP on Fox
The Dallas Mavericks are slowly climbing back into the Western Conference playoff picture. The Utah Jazz are aiding that ascent. Dallas tries to Utah for ninth place in the West on Sunday night when the Jazz try to prevent their first nine-game road skid in 31 seasons. The Mavericks (33-36), who are tied with Portland, have split their last six games since a 4-0 run, but they've moved with one game of the Jazz (34-35), who have dropped three straight and 11 of 14. Dallas still has work to do to extend its playoff streak to 13 - it is 2 1/2 games behind the eighth-place Los Angeles Lakers - but a 104-94 victory over Boston on Friday was a step in the right direction after opening its season-high six-game homestand with a 113-96 loss to Brooklyn on Wednesday. "It's good. Any win is good right now," said forward Shawn Marion, who had 11 points and 13 rebounds after missing eight games with a strained left calf. "You know, we're just trying to gradually get to that .500 mark right now. We've got to keep taking these steps in that direction, and if we can knock down this homestand it can be a good thing for us." The Mavericks have lost twice in Salt Lake City this season - 113-94 on Oct. 31 and 100-94 on Jan. 7 - but they've owned the Jazz in Dallas, winning four straight and 18 of the last 21 regular-season matchups. That's bad news for a Utah team riding its worst road losing streak since 2005. The Jazz will try to salvage the final game of their three-city Texas trip - and avoid a season high-tying fourth consecutive loss - after falling 104-97 in overtime to West-leading San Antonio on Friday. "We played a tough team on their home floor and had a chance to win for the first time in a long time," said center Al Jefferson, who had 18 points and 13 rebounds for his third consecutive double-double. "The energy and the effort was there for all 48 minutes plus. If we continue to play the way we did tonight for the rest of these 12 games, we have a great chance.'' The Jazz have to feel good about starting a stretch of eight of 10 at home on Monday, but they're in danger of dropping nine straight outside Salt Lake City for the first time since a 17-game skid spanning Nov. 21, 1981-Feb. 6, 1982. Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki, who had a team-best 20 points on Jan. 7 after missing the previous matchup following knee surgery, is averaging 33.1 points and 8.0 rebounds in his last eight home games versus Utah. He finished with 40 points in the Jazz's last visit, a Mavericks 102-96 victory on March 3, 2012. Nowitzki also scored 40 - matching a season high - in a 123-121 triple-overtime road loss on April 16 that ended Dallas' seven-game win streak between the teams. Utah's current three-game run over the Mavericks is its longest since reeling off 12 straight victories from Feb. 15, 1997-Feb. 24, 2000.

Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki & wife Jessica expecting first child

Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki likes to keep his private life low. But after a few weeks of speculation, Dirk confirmed to a German interviewer that he and his wife Jessica are expecting their first child later this year. You can check the interview HERE… It’s in German.   Dirk was coy when asked about the news recently. Smiling and saying to the reporter, “I haven’t heard...

Shawn Marion wil return to Mavericks lineup tonight

Shawn Marion has missed the last eight games, but he's ready to return.  The Dallas Mavericks' forward was suffering from a strained left calf, but after sitting out and resting the injury, he feels he's ready to return to the court.  He says he will play tonight against the Boston Celtics.According to Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas, the decision to return was up to Marion...

STAT-urday: Jazz out of tune

The Utah Jazz were flying high before the All-Star Break and comfortably sitting in that final Playoff spot. They had dreams of winning and moving up the standings to get better Playoff positioning. Then the Lakers got hot and the Jazz started to plummet. Utah decided to stand pat at the trade deadline even with the pending free agencies of Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap....

Corbin Admits Upcoming Free Agency Impacting Jazz

Along with Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap, Mo Williams, DeMarre Carroll, Randy Foye, Earl Watson and Jamaal Tinsley all will be seeking new contracts this offseason.

Mavericks 113, Jazz 108

Mike James scored a season-high 19 points, Dirk Nowitzki added 17 and the Dallas Mavericks beat the slumping Utah Jazz 113-108 Sunday night. Vince Carter and Shawn Marion each had 15 points as the Mavericks moved within two games of the Los Angeles Lakers for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Enes Kanter scored 17 points as the Jazz lost their ninth straight on...

Mavs beat Celtics, spoil Terry's return to Dallas

DALLAS (AP) -- Dirk Nowitzki scored 22 points, Shawn Marion had a double-double in his return from a calf injury and the Mavericks spoiled Jason Terry's return to Dallas with a 104-94 victory over the Boston Celtics on Friday night. Terry scored eight in his first game in Dallas since leaving for Boston in free agency. He was the latest key piece the Mavericks decided not to...

Jason Terry returns to Dallas for the first time since leaving Mavericks

Jason Terry will play his first game in Dallas tonight since leaving the Mavericks to join Boston in the offseason. Terry was the second best player on the Mavericks squad that beat Miami for the 2011 championship. While the Dallas native wanted to stay with the Mavericks and even offered the team the chance to match the offer the Celtics made to the Jet, Mark Cuban and his management...

Chris Kaman Not A Dwyane Wade Fan

Chris Kaman wasn’t shy when expressing his displeasure with Dwyane Wade and his style of play while talking about the Heat’s winning streak on BaD Radio 104.1 FM The Ticket on Thursday. According to the Dallas Morning News: “Miami is playing really well now. They snuck out some serious wins the last couple of games. They should have lost, but they were able to figure it out...

Game #68 Recap: Dallas Mavericks drop Boston Celtics, 104-94

Dallas Mavericks 112, Boston Celtics 88 After squandering big leads against the Miami Heat and New Orleans Hornets, the Celtics headed to Dallas to snap their two-game losing streak against the Mavericks. You would think the Celtics would be tired of losing; however, by their performance out of the gate, it didn't seem so. Boston missed their first four shots, with Kevin Garnett...
NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.