NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, April 7th (All times eastern)
Memphis Grizzlies (39-38) at Dallas Mavericks (50-27), 8:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Dallas Mavericks hope to salvage the finale of a three- game homestand and inch closer to the Southwest Division crown tonight when they host the Memphis Grizzlies.
The Mavs are coming off a tough 121-116 loss to Oklahoma City on Saturday when Kevin Durant and Jeff Green combined for 45 points and Eric Maynor helped derail a Dallas comeback bid with a three-pointer in the final minute, as the Thunder clinched their first playoff berth since relocating to Oklahoma City with a 121-116 win over the Mavericks.
Dirk Nowitzki had 30 points and 13 rebounds and Jason Kidd added 24 points for Dallas, which is now tied with Phoenix and Denver, one-half game behind Utah for the second seed in the jumbled Western Conference playoff standings.
The Mavs also failed to pick up ground on San Antonio in their bid to clinch the Southwest Division title. The Spurs are now two games back with a season- ending matchup between the two looming for Apr. 14 in Dallas.
"We're struggling the last couple games. It was disappointing because we had a great offensive first quarter," said Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle. "Good teams have got to be able to close out quarters and hold leads in those situations. We struggled to do it in the first quarter and in the second, we got behind and were behind the rest of the night."
The Grizzlies, meanwhile, are out of the playoff picture and coming off their fifth loss in six games last night. Houston's Kevin Martin led all scorers with 29 points in that one, as the Rockets held on late to upend Memphis, 113-103.
Zach Randolph scored 22 points along with seven boards for the Grizzlies while Rudy Gay chipped in 20 and eight rebounds in defeat.
"We capitalized on some of their mistakes, and we went on a little run," Grizz forward Sam Young said. "It was just a matter of trying to make sure our run surpassed their score, but obviously we came up a little short tonight."
Dallas has been a house of horrors for Memphis over the years. The Grizzlies have dropped 17 of their last 18 in Big D with the lone win coming on Nov. 26, 2005.
04/07 10:57:01 ET