Dirk Nowitzki and his Dallas Mavericks teammates pledged earlier this season not to shave until the team returned to the .500 mark.
The Mavericks are close to getting their razors ready and will try to even their record for the first time in 3 1/2 months with Thursday night's visit from a surging Indiana Pacers team that's approaching full health.
With nine wins in the last 12 contests, Dallas is now within one game of .500 for the first time since it was 11-11 on Dec. 12. The Mavericks (35-36) are also making a considerable push for a 13th consecutive playoff berth, now sitting just 1 1/2 games behind the eighth-place Los Angeles Lakers after beginning March five games out of postseason position.
"We've been fighting to get to (.500). I feel like we're playing our basketball. The boys are playing well and better off each other," Nowitzki said. "It's a good time to play your best basketball. We'll see how far we can take it.