DALLAS MAVERICKS (47-31) at UTAH JAZZ- April 8 at EnergySolutions Arena (9:00 p.m. ET)
Check out what Jazz Site PurpleandBlues.com has to say about this matchup.
The Dallas Mavericks, at a season-best 16 games above .500, have four games remaining in their playoff push as it starts with the final game of their four-game road trip in Utah on April 8. Game starts at 9:00 p.m. ET and can be seen on Fox Sports Southwest with Mark Followill, Derek Harper and Jeff “Skin” Wade.
Dallas won its third straight game, fifth straight on the road after taking down the Sacramento Kings 93-91 on April 6.
The Mavericks shot just 40 percent from the field compared to 47 percent from the Kings, but Dallas made eight more 3-pointers.
It was a back-and-forth game before Dallas started to hit threes in the fourth quarter. Shawn Marion and Dirk Nowitzki missed three out of four free throws down the stretch to give Dallas the 93-91 lead before DeMarcus Cousins‘ fadeaway jumper at the buzzer was no good.
Cousins and Rudy Gay combined for 60 of the Kings’ 91 points.
As for the Jazz, they fell 130-102 to the Golden State Warriors on April 6. The Jazz have fallen to 3-16 since the start of March.
The Mavericks have won four straight and 11 of 14 against the Jazz and are 30-of-56 from downtown (53.6 percent) in the first three match ups this season.
Nowitzki is averaging 26.6 points while shooting 56.7 percent over his last 18 games versus Utah.
MILESTONE WATCH: Nowitzki is on the cusp of immorality. If he can score 18 points against the Jazz, he will crack the top-10 in career scoring, passing hall-of-famer Oscar “The Big O” Robertson. Nowitzki entered this season 17th all time and has already passed Jerry West, Reggie Miller, Kevin Garnett, Alex English, John Havlicek and Dominique Wilkins. Nowitzki in the top-10 scoring all time, something he wouldn’t have imagined when he first entered the league.
WEST STANDINGS: With four games remaining, Dallas is so close to its 13th playoff appearance in 14 years. The Mavericks are a half game ahead of the Phoenix Suns for 7th, while the two still play on April 12. Dallas is also 1.5 games back of the Memphis Grizzlies, who it already owns the head-to-head tiebreaker with. A first-round match up with the San Antonio Spurs would be tough for the Mavs, so anyone else would be a nice match up. Dallas would face the Thunder if the season ended, but still has a shot at the 6th seed. The Mavs are 1.5 games back of the Warriors, but Golden State has the tiebreaker over Dallas. Out of the four teams, the Mavs have the least amount of games left while the other three have five games left. The Warriors, Grizzlies and Suns are idle on Tuesday while Memphis and Phoenix go up against the Heat and Pelicans on April 9. Golden State’s next game will be at home against Denver on April 10.
HE’S STILL GOT IT: Nowitzki is coming off one of best weeks in recent memory. Nowitzki was named Western Conference Player of the Week for the 17th time in his career after he averaged 25.3 points and eight rebounds in the week of March 31-April 6. His 25.3 points ranked fourth in the conference while he ranked seventh with 56.5 percent shooting. The Mavericks went 3-1 in the week.
I LOVE JAZZ: Starters vs Utah this season
Nowitzki: 23 points/6 rebounds/59.5 percent shooting (3 games)
Ellis: 21.3 points/4.7 rebounds/7 assists (3 games)
Marion: 6.7 points/4.7 rebounds/3 assists/1.3 steals (3 games)
Samuel Dalembert: 11.3 points/7.3 rebounds/84.2 percent shooting (3 games)
Jose Calderon: 9 points/5.3 assists/53.8 percent 3-point shooting (3 games)
Game 1 (Nov. 22)- Ellis led five players in double figures with 26 points as the Mavs won 103-93, despite leading by 28. Dalembert adds 18 points and 12 boards.
Game 2 (Feb. 7)- Ellis leads four players in double figures with 22 points while Nowitzki adds 20 as the Mavs won their fourth straight, 103-81.
Game 3 (March 12)- Nowitzki passes Havlicek for 12th place with 31 points on 12-of-14 shooting (4-of-4 3-point). Ellis adds a near triple-double with 16 points, 11 dimes and seven rebounds. Dallas shoots 62 percent from three.