NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, March 31st (All times eastern)
Dallas Mavericks (49-25) at Memphis Grizzlies (38-35), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Dallas Mavericks will try to inch closer to their first division title since the 2006-07 season as they pay a visit to the Memphis Grizzlies tonight at FedEx Forum.
Dallas is 4 1/2 games ahead of San Antonio in the Southwest Division with eight games remaining on the schedule. It is currently second in the Western Conference standings, just a half-game in front of Utah, and recorded its second straight win and third in four tries with a 109-93 decision over Denver Monday in Big D.
MVP candidate Dirk Nowitzki recorded the second triple-double of his career, notching 34 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, while Shawn Marion chipped in 21 points for the Mavericks, who got eight points, 10 assists and six boards from veteran guard Jason Kidd.
"It was an extra-pass game, guys were moving it and doing the right things at both ends and were helping defensively," Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle said. "It is a win we needed real badly and I am really happy for the guys."
Jason Terry scored 13 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter to give Carlisle's squad a late spark. Dallas is 23-14 as the guest this season.
Memphis' chances of making the playoffs are hanging by a thread, as it currently sits six games behind San Antonio for the eighth and final postseason spot in the Western Conference.
The Grizzlies have dropped two straight and four of their last seven games, including Sunday's 108-103 overtime loss at Milwaukee in the finale of a three-game road trip. Zach Randolph led all scorers with 31 points and grabbed 15 rebounds for Memphis, which was coming off a 128-110 setback at Golden State on Wednesday.
"They are a tough team, mentally tough, physically tough," Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins said of the Bucks. "They defended and we battled and we competed. They got a few loose balls on the offensive boards that gave them extra possession when we were up by one point. They made a couple of big shots."
Rudy Gay had 20 points for Memphis and Mike Conley added 18 and 10 assists in defeat.
The Grizzlies will also host New Orleans on this residency and are 22-15 at home in 2009-10.
The 2009-10 season series between Dallas and Memphis is tied at a game apiece, with each team holding serve as the host. The Mavericks have won 20 of the past 25 meetings between the clubs, but are winless in the last three tilts at held at FedEx Forum.
03/31 10:35:08 ET