NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, April 3rd (All times eastern)
Dallas Mavericks (45-30) at Memphis Grizzlies (20-54), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Dallas Mavericks will be trying to move one step closer to sewing up a postseason berth when the club visits Memphis' FedEx Forum for tonight's matchup with the Southwest Division-rival Grizzlies.
With just seven games remaining in the regular season, the Mavericks hold a four-game advantage on Phoenix for the eighth and final playoff seed in the West. Dallas also has a chance to move up in the standings, with seventh-place Utah just one game up on the Mavs at the moment.
Dallas will host the Suns in a huge late-season showdown on Sunday, the opener of a three-game homestand for the Mavericks.
The team can't be looking ahead too far, however, considering the Grizzlies enter tonight's tilt having won their last two games, albeit against doormats Golden State and Washington. That mild streak marks the first time since February 7-9 that Memphis has posted victories in back-to-back outings.
In their most recent time out, the Grizzlies received 25 points from Rudy Gay and 22 out of Mike Conley in Wednesday's 112-107 decision over the visiting Wizards.
Memphis opened up a 15-point lead after three quarters and held on down the stretch, with Conley hitting several clutch free throws in the final minute.
Marc Gasol and O.J. Mayo each netted 18 points to help the Grizzlies halt a six-game home losing streak. Memphis is now 13-24 as the host this season.
The Mavericks come in off a hard-fought 98-96 home win over Miami on Wednesday, led by a 30-point effort from star forward Dirk Nowitzki.
Josh Howard, playing only his second game since returning from an ankle injury that sidelined him for more than three weeks, amassed 20 points and eight rebounds for Dallas, which won for the second straight game and fourth time in its last six contests. Jason Kidd contributed 11 assists to the winning effort.
The Grizzlies dealt Dallas a 102-82 loss at the FedEx Forum back in January, but the Mavericks had defeated Memphis 13 consecutive times prior to that setback. Dallas had also won eight straight meetings with the Grizzlies in Memphis and owns an impressive 22-4 all-time mark in the Music City.
The Mavericks are just 4-9 over their last 13 road games, however, and 18-21 overall as the visitor this season.
04/03 10:37:03 ET