NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, March 10th (All times eastern)
New Jersey Nets (7-56) at Dallas Mavericks (44-21), 8:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The NBA's worst team takes on its hottest when the New Jersey Nets meet the Dallas Mavericks in Big D tonight.
Despite playing short-handed the Mavs earned their 12th straight victory on Monday in Minneapolis when Shawn Marion posted 29 points to go with 14 rebounds, pacing Dallas in a 125-112 decision over the lowly Timberwolves.
Dirk Nowitzki and Caron Butler added 24 and 23 points, respectively, for the Mavericks, who are in the midst of their longest winning streak in three seasons and are now second in the Western Conference, three games behind the LA Lakers. Dallas last ripped off 13 straight victories during a franchise- best 17-game run from January 27-March 11, 2007. Nowitzki, meanwhile, is now just seven points behind Hall of Famer George Gervin for 30th on the all-time NBA scoring list with 20,701 total points.
Jason Kidd ended with 12 points and 10 assists for the victors, who continued their stellar play despite toiling without high-scoring guard Jason Terry (facial surgery) along with big men Brendan Haywood (back) and Erick Dampier (dislocated finger) in the Twin Cities. Also, one of Terry's replacement in the backcourt, J.J. Barea, left Monday's contest with a sprained ankle.
"When someone is down, someone else picks them up," Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle said of his team's cohesiveness. "When you get on a roll like this those things have to happen."
Barea and Haywood are listed as questionable for tonight as Dallas opens a four-game homestand but Terry and Dampier will be out until later this month.
The Nets, meanwhile, are playing out the string hoping to avoid becoming the worst team in NBA history. New Jersey needs to secure three wins in its final 19 contests to surpass the 1972-73 Philadelphia 76ers, who finished that season with a miserable 9-73 record.
The Nets fell to 7-56 on the season Monday in Memphis when Rudy Gay and Mike Conley each scored 21 points to push the Grizzlies past New Jersey, 107-101.
Courtney Lee led all scorers with 30 points on 13-of-20 shooting, and Devin Harris netted 28 points and five assists for the Nets, who were coming off a win over the Knicks and still haven't won two in row this season. Rookie Terrence Williams added 14 points, six rebounds and six assists off the bench.
"We don't like giving teams the head starts we've been giving," Harris said. "Once we correct that, it will be easier to contend in the fourth quarter."
The Nets are a hapless 1-22 against the Western Conference this season and just 4-28 on the road as they try to avoid a home-and-home season sweep at the hands of the Mavs. Dallas last swept the season series in 2006-07.
03/10 10:34:04 ET