The reigning NBA champion Dallas Mavericks will kick off a pivotal four-game road trip over a five-day span when they visit the Golden State Warriors on Thursday.
The Mavs, who are just 11-16 on the road this season and will also visit Portland, the LA Lakers and Utah on the trek, are currently deadlocked with Denver and Houston for the sixth spot in the jumbled Western Conference playoff picture, 1 1/2 games ahead of No. 9 Utah and two clear of 10th place Phoenix.
Dallas snapped a two-game skid on Tuesday when Dirk Nowitzki was one of six players in double figures, scoring 15 points and grabbing eight rebounds as the Mavericks took down the Sacramento Kings, 110-100, at American Airlines Center.
Rodrigue Beaubois also went for 15 points and five rebounds, Jason Terry and Delonte West added 13 points apiece, Brendan Haywood had 11 and five rebounds, while Shawn Marion added a double-double with 10 points and 14 rebounds for the Mavs, who had lost three of their last four coming in.
Dallas has beaten the Kings 16 consecutive times at home.
"We have a lot of things to work on with our chemistry," Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle told the Mavericks' website. "We're gonna have some different rotations with our second unit and there's gonna be fluidity with it. So, you know, we've gotta get together quickly really on both sides of the ball."
The Warriors, meanwhile, were officially eliminated from the postseason with a 118-110 loss in Portland on Wednesday.
David Lee paced Golden State with 21 points and 14 rebounds, while Nate Robinson netted 19 points for the Warriors, who were coming off their worst setback in five seasons on Monday in Denver, getting blitzed by the Nuggets 123-84.
"They made adjustments and we tried to get everyone else involved," said Robinson. "A couple shots didn't fall, but guys continued to play hard and we just didn't seal the deal."
Golden State has won two straight over the Mavs after losing the previous six meetings in the series.