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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Thursday, January 28th (All times eastern)

Dallas Mavericks (30-15) at Phoenix Suns (26-21), 10:30 p.m.

(Sports Network) - Dirk Nowitzki has enjoyed a solid season so far for the Dallas Mavericks, who will try to ride the coattails of their German superstar tonight on the road against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center.

Nowitzki, the only player in the NBA to average 25.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 1.0 steals and 1.0 blocks this season, has now competed in 883 games as a Maverick to tie Brad Davis for the most games played in franchise history. The former MVP of the league and fourth player born outside the United States to score 20,000 career points had 28 in Dallas' 108-107 victory versus the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday.

Jason Terry added 21 points off the bench and Jason Kidd registered a double- double with 11 points and 12 assists for the Southwest Division-leading Mavericks, who were coming off a 50-point rout of the New York Knicks on Sunday and have won four of their last five games.

"It's exciting but it gets difficult. Milwaukee is a persistent team," Dallas head coach Rick Carlisle noted.

The Mavs are 16-8 away from Big D this season and have the most road wins in the Western Conference.

Phoenix has been struggling this month and has dropped two straight and seven of its last nine games. In a 114-109 overtime setback at home versus the Charlotte Bobcats on Tuesday, Steve Nash led the way with 23 points for the Suns, who fell to 17-6 as the host this season.

"It's somber," said Suns forward Channing Frye, who had 20 points. "It's just getting frustrating for us. We just want to win so badly. I think we're doing the right things for about 36 to 40 minutes, but there's that eight minute stretch where we just knock the plate over and they take advantage of it."

Jared Dudley ended with 18 points and 10 rebounds in a losing effort. In injury news for Phoenix, veteran forward Grant Hill is questionable for Thursday's game against Dallas with a bruised right heel.

The Mavericks defeated the Suns, 102-101, at home back on December 8 this season thanks to 33 points from Nowitzki. They have won three in a row against Phoenix and have scored at least 100 points in 21 of the past 22 meetings between the teams.

Dallas has lost three of five and four of its last seven in the desert.

01/28 10:34:29 ET


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