Originally written March 10, 2013 on Fox Sports North:
While he hasn't quite returned to his All-Star form, Dirk Nowitzki has hit some big shots lately to breathe some life into the Dallas Mavericks' playoff hopes. Dallas seeks its fourth win in five games on Sunday night when it visits the Minnesota Timberwolves, who have lost seven of eight. Since starting out 1-8 in December once Nowitzki returned from preseason knee surgery, the Mavericks (28-33) have turned things around with a 14-9 record since Jan. 10 with the 7-footer in the lineup. Nowitzki had just 12 points on 6-of-14 shooting on Friday, but drilled a pair of jumpers down the stretch to key a 102-99 win at Detroit. Nowitzki is averaging 15.9 points on 44.1 percent shooting -- his lowest scoring average since his rookie season -- but has scored 18.5 per game while hitting 50.4 percent from the field in his last eight. Thanks to Utah's loss at New York on Saturday, the Mavericks have moved within three games of the last playoff spot in the Western Conference. St...
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