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News » Dallas Mavericks Getting Inside 2008-03-28

Dallas Mavericks Getting Inside 2008-03-28

Dallas Mavericks Getting Inside 2008-03-28
Whether the Mavericks head to the postseason for the eighth straight year will largely depend on what happens in the four games starting with Thursday loss at Denver. And of course, they have to do it without Dirk Nowitzki.

Facing their two closest pursuers in the Western Conference playoff chase three times in one week with tiebreaker implications on the line can't be overstated. Denver is currently the ninth of nine teams in the postseason chase.

"We predicted this way back in January," Avery Johnson said. "There can be a shifting and a swinging in the standings. Nothing's really decided yet, so with 10, 11, 12 games for some teams left, I think there's still great opportunities out there and especially for us."

The stretch picks up after two days off Sunday at eighth-place Golden State. After completing a back-to-back at the L.A. Clippers on Monday, the Warriors head to American Airlines Center on Wednesday.

Of course it doesn't get any easier after finishing with Golden State. The Mavs head back on the road next weekend to tackle the LA Lakers and Phoenix. Included in the last five games are visits from current division-leaders Utah and New Orleans.

NUGGETS 118, MAVERICKS 105: A playoff spot wasn't lost Thursday night. There's plenty to be worked out over the final 10 games. But like many of the losses over the last five weeks, the Mavericks will look back at the loss to the equally hungry Nuggets as another opportunity lost.

The Mavs (45-27) squandered a 15-point advantage and saw their lead over Denver (44-28) drop to one game in the Western Conference standings. A win would have essentially given seventh-place Dallas a four-game cushion over No. 9 Denver when the tiebreaker is factored in.

The Nuggets now own that edge by taking the season series 2-1. Up next is Sunday's visit to No. 8 Golden State. But before the Mavs and Warriors hook up, Golden State travels to Denver on Saturday. Postseason implications are riding on every game.

Playing for the second time without Dirk Nowitzki, the Mavs were in control going into the third quarter. The step-up-by-committee approach was working, with Josh Howard, Jason Kidd and Jerry Stackhouse leading the way.

It was all Denver after the break, as the Mavs stopped attacking the basket and the Nuggets started. Carmelo Anthony (32 points) and Allen Iverson (31) ignited the rally, as the home team outscored Dallas 58-35 in the second half.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: March 28, 2008


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