National Basketball Association
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        === Mavs hope to keep momentum going in home tilt with Hawks ===
 (Sports  Network) - The Dallas Mavericks have won three of their last four and
 will  try to  keep the momentum going  Monday night when they host the Atlanta
 The  Mavs have taken two in a row at home, including a 116-91 victory over the
 Golden  State Warriors on Saturday. Dallas was 26 points ahead at halftime and
 cruised to victory.
 Shawn  Marion led the Mavs with 26 points and Dirk Nowitzki, O.J. Mayo, Darren
 Collison  and Elton Brand  all scored in double figures for a Dallas team that
 is trying a decidedly hockey approach to getting back to .500.
 The  team decided  this week that they  would not shave until they got back to
 even  on  their record. Hockey teams  will grow "playoff beards," but the head
 coach is mildly in favor.
 "The  beards  are great,  but growing  a beard is  not going  to make you play
 well,"  Rick  Carlisle  told  the  Mavericks website.  "Growing  a  beard  and
 everybody  doing it  and everybody playing hard and being there for each other
 in  games and making  a commitment to play hard and keep things simple, that's
 what  creates success. And  I think the guys understand that. It's just not as
 simple  as  growing beards and  playing well. That's not  how this is going to
 work. But I am in favor of it."
 The  Hawks have dropped  three of their last four. They fell at home on Friday
 night to the New Orleans Hornets, 111-100.
 "Defensively,  we  didn't have  a presence,"  said head  coach Larry Drew. "We
 didn't  play the way  I felt we should have from an energy standpoint. We were
 not very energized."
 Josh  Smith  led the Hawks  with 23 points and  Jeff Teague continued his fine
 form  of late  with 21 points and  nine assists. Kyle Korver established a new
 franchise record with a made 3-pointer in his 43rd straight game.
 With  Lou Williams done for the season after a torn ACL, the Hawks chances for
 a  deep playoff  run were  still flickering.  Now, rumors  are surfacing  that
 Atlanta is shopping free-agent-to-be Smith.
 Smith hasn't been bothered by questions of his status for next season.
 The  Hawks certainly didn't lose on Friday night because of trade rumors about
 one  of  their stars.  They allowed the  Hornets to shoot  52 percent from the
 field and 56 percent from the 3-point line.
 Atlanta  squandered  a double-digit lead in  the first half and lost the third
 quarter, 29-16, then dropped the fourth by three.
 "Our demise has really been the third quarter. We have really come out flat in
 third  quarters,"  Drew said. "We  can't continue to come  out and be that low
 energized in the third quarter."
 The  Mavs, who've won three straight in Big D, have won three of the last four
 in this series and are 6-1 at home against Atlanta in their last seven.
 02/11 10:52:07 ET