Jazz-Mavericks Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated March 23, 2013
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.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Top eight takeways from Raiders’ relocation to Las Vegas

Tony Romo upset with situation, distancing himself from teammates and coach

Kings owner looking for an executive to place over Vlade Divac

Elway: Broncos plan to 'stay the course' with Siemian, Lynch

Boykin may have violated probation, could face jail time

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

USF suspends DB indefinitely for role in shooting, arrest

Softball player, coach get physical in handshake line

Kraft: Patriots do not intend to trade Malcolm Butler

Brandon Marshall talks about how he can help Odell Beckham

Scherzer makes Tebow look silly in spring training at-bat

Lonzo Ball discusses headlines his father creates

Best, worst and hard to stomach MLB offseason moves

The 28 craziest ballpark foods for the 2017 season

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Box Score 3/24: Waiting on West Virginia

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

With Team USA's victory, World Baseball Classic (finally) lived up to its potential

The NFL distraction playbook

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

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!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best, worst and hard to stomach MLB offseason moves

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

The NFL distraction playbook

With Team USA's victory the WBC (finally) lived up to its potential

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker